Although it's been a year since the unique identity project was announced, not many people are aware of its usability. To create awareness amongst masses about this ambitious project of the UPA government, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has appointed an advisory council comprising eight members from different fields.
The Awareness and Communication Strategy Advisory Council (ACSAC) aims to design communication and marketing strategies to create awareness about the project that is expected to reach more than 1.2 billion Indian residents. The council has to arrive at a set of optimum and unbiased strategic choices that communicate the objectives of the UID in an efficient and cost-effective manner and also lay a roadmap for additional research to further enhance the insights about the individuals.
These strategies will then be translated into tactical plans and executions by the implementing agencies. The advisory council has to present its strategy report within 90 days, which can be further extended, if required.
The advisory council comprises Kiran Khalap, co-founder and managing director, chlorophyll; DK Bose, founder and trustee, Centre for Advocacy and Research (an NGO working on media and gender issues); Praveen Tripathi, president, marketing and sales services, Pidilite Industries; Santosh Desai, chief executive officer, Future Brands; Sumeet Vohra, head, marketing, P&G India; two nominated members of UIDAI and a representative of UIDAI, who will work as the member secretary of the council. The council may invite additional members to join.
The UIDAI will have several vendors and agencies to execute the marketing and communication campaign on the ground.
Set up under the aegis of the Planning Commission, the unique identity project is headed by Nandan Nilekani. UIDAI will start issuing UIDs beginning August 2010 on a voluntary basis. The biometric UIDs will take the face, all 10 fingerprints and both iris scans of each person.
Because of its involvement with humongous databases and its reach, the UID project has caught the attention of several national and multinational IT players.