The department of post on Friday entered into a strategic partnership with the Unique Identification Authority of India for registration and distribution of unique identification cards to Indian citizens.
"This is not a tactical, but a strategic partnership, where UIDAI will leverage the existing infrastructure of the DoP to reach out to the masses for providing UID," UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani said while signing the agreement.
The department of post has offered to include one-and-a-half-lakh post offices for this purpose initially.
The UIDAI has floated a request for quotation to finalise the agency that will set up and manage infrastructure for registration and distribution of UID cards at these post offices.
"The RFQ will be opened in the next couple of days and then we will finalise agencies to set up and manage infrastructure across all 1,50,000 offices offered by the DoP," UIDAI director general and Mission director R S Sharma explained.
The new partnership will add to the existing infrastructure of the UIDAI, which has over one million enrolment centres in nine states.
Under this mission, the authority has installed approximately 5,000 biometric devices for collection of the biometric impressions of citizens, like fingerprint and retina scanners.
"These 5,000 biometric (devices) can collectively enroll 250,000 people per day," Sharma said.
Information Technology and Communications Minister Kapil Sibal, who was also present on the occasion, mentioned that the government sees UID as a critical initiative to achieve the goal of inclusive growth.
"We have an opportunity to use post offices for inclusive growth through this partnership. If we understand the road ahead, the post offices will be the centre for empowering people," Sibal said.
Image: Nandan Nilekani