May 2010
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UID gets new name 'AADHAAR' and logo

NEW DELHI: The Government's ambitious unique identity project aiming to give a 16-digit number to all citizens of the country was today renamed 'AADHAAR' and its new logo unveiled.

The Unique Identification Number project of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chaired by IT czar Nandan Nilekani was renamed 'AADHAAR' (foundation) as part of efforts to reach out to the common man.

"UID itself is very confusing. Some people call it DUI, somebody calls it IUD and so forth. So it was getting a little difficult to explain all this various permutations, combinations of this acronym," Nilekani said.

"Therefore, we wanted a name that could effectively communicate its transformational potential and its promise to residents. Something that had a national appeal that could be recognised across the country, could resonate in different languages and easy to remember and speak," he said.

He said the same standard was also set for the making of the logo. The new logo, with a sun in yellow and a fingerprint in the centre, was also made public at a seminar organised by the UIDAI here.

Interestingly, the logo, selected after a nationwide competition, was unveiled by Dhaneshwar Ram, a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, who was invited by the UIDAI to speak on the hardships faced by the common man in getting an identity at present.

The logo creator, Atul Sudhakarrao Pande, a Mumbai resident was given a cheque of Rs one lakh after his design was selected among over 2000 entries.

Speaking to PTI, Pande, who is a designer by profession said, "My sister told me about this competition. I read through their concept notes and knew that I had to create something which is easily recognisable. Any rural person would be able to easily recognise the sun and the fingerprint."

Pande, who would turn 39 tomorrow, said, "My winning the competition is the best birthday present that I have received. It will be taken to millions of people and will be at the front of this ambitious project."

Nilekani said the project was aimed at the under privileged and the poor who are left out of the government's social schemes because of lack of identity proof.

R Chandra Shekhar, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, said, "AADHAAR is the first identity project which is aiming at the poor and marginalised. Earlier all such schemes use to cater only to security but AADHAAR caters to both."

UIDAI Director General R S Sharma said the first 16 digit number would be rolled out by February next year.

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