NEW DELHI, INDIA: Nearly half the Indian population will get their unique identity number by 2014, Nandan Nilekani, who is spearheading the drive, said Sunday.
"We will generate about a million numbers per day and our plan is to have nearly half the population in our system (unique identity number) by 2014," Nandan Nilekani, chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said.
According to Nilekani, the unique number will provide its holder access to better government services, while greatly reducing the hassles of paperwork.
He was addressing the seventh India-Africa business conclave co-hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Exim Bank, in cooperation with the ministries of external affairs and commerce, which began here Sunday.
UIDAI project to provide unique number to all Indians
The UIDAI project involves providing a unique number to all Indians, but not smart cards. Through this number, the authority will provide a biometric database of all residents.
The representatives of various African governments attending the conference showed interest in the UID system for possible application in their own countries.
Some 800 delegates from around 35 African countries are participating in the conclave, which is a build-up to the India-Africa Summit to be held in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in May.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be attending the Ethiopian summit.
According to a CII official, heads of states, senior ministers, officials and business leaders are expected to take part in this year's conclave.
The theme of the conference this year is "Creating Possibilities; Delivering Values."
In the last six conclaves 1,084 projects worth $56.08 billion were discussed.
The Delhi conclave and the Addis Ababa summit in May come at a time when trade between India and African countries has been recording a steady increase, reaching over 400 percent since 2005.
According to the organizers, around 157 projects worth $10.02 billion were discussed in over 1,200 one-to-one business meetings during last year's conference.
African Union Commission chair Jean Ping, Mozambique Prime Minister Aires Bonifacio Ali, Central African Republic Prime Minister Faustin Archange Touadera, Togo Prime Minister Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo and Somalia Deputy Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali are among the political leaders taking part in the event.