Boostrapping India : ID.01 - Procedures to enact "National ID System"
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Proposed administrative procedure
ID.01   -   Procedures   to   enact   National   ID   System

: To create an ID system at National level.

Pre-requiste readings : RLPP.


  1. What is an ID system?
  2. Why multiple ID systems?
  3. Features of an ID system
  4. Proposed administrative procedures #ID.01 : National level ID system
  5. Cost
  6. Advantages of ID.01
  7. Draft of the act to create procedure ID.01

What is an ID system?

An ID system is a database and a list of procedures which enables a govt officer or a court to ensure that a perticular person is the same person as as the one described in the government's records.

It can also enable the officer/court to decide the perticular person is a citizen of India, or not.

The system also enables various govt departments to store/retrive, verify and cross-check information on a person (and companies) like crime record, tax record, wealth/income record, his relations with other persons etc. The ID system also helps the govt in keeping a record of ownership of properties like land, buildings, vehicles, cash in bank accounts etc. This redues time and cost in deciding ownership and inheritance in case of a dispute.

Why multiple ID systems?

My proposal is that we should create 3 ID systems : one run by District govt, another run by the State Govt and third one run by the Central Govt. A citizen should be required to register himself to all these 3 ID-systems. And he should be required to get one card from each of these three. Why three ID systems? Isnít one ID system sufficient?

Yes, as such, one ID system from Central Government would suffice. But what if the Central Government officers take years and decades to create an ID system? Or what oif they dont create and ID-system at all? And what if the their system is horribly incomplete (incomplete means a large number of citizens are NOT registered), too many duplicates (i.e. many citizens have have two entries) or there are too many records with serious errors. And what if the officers of Central Govt are too slow in adding features like DNA print etc which can improve accuracy, and features like bar code, magnetic strip etc which can fasten the processing?

In such cases, the only way out is that the States/Districts should be allowed to have their own ID system with details and features they want. If districts are allowed, some districts will do a superlative job in creating ID systems and ID cards, and these districts can become role-model for other districts as well as other States and the Center. The multiple ID system cannot hurt the nation in any way. It will, in worst case, triplicate the costs, but will drastically improve the quality of ID system as well ID cards. And it can reduce the cost, as district level ID system will create CHEAPER ways and means to create ID system as well as cards, and finding applications of ID systems/cards.

Features of an ID system

Following are some of the features of ID system worth having
  1. There should be one and EXACTLY one serial number and one entry for ALL citizens in the database, and the entry should have serial number, namely ID-number attached with it.

  2. A citizen who is NOT in the system must be able to get himself registered in the system and get an ID-number as soon as possible, possibly within hours or 1-2 days after he applies.

  3. The parents of a new born citizen who is NOT in the system should be able to their kid registered in the system and get an ID-number as soon as possible, possibly within hours or 1-2 days after they apply.

  4. It should be possible to fix the errors in ID system if any (such as mis-spelt name, wrong address etc) within a few hours or at most few days. Also, it should be possible to update the information as soon as possible.

  5. It is MUST that ONLY the citizens get entries in ID system, and no non-citizen has any entry, or non-citizens are explicitly marked as non-citizens.

  6. There should be procedures to avoid, detect and cancel duplicate entries in the database.

  7. There should be sufficient details in the system about a person, that it becomes highly unlikely that there are two persons with SAME details.

The system should also issue a card for every citizen. The card issued to a person should have following features
  1. In case a citizen does not have an ID card with him, then also the system should provide means to obtain his serial number in the database without a card, based on some other fields.

  2. There should be sufficient details on the card so that it is possible and easy for an officer to ensure that the person holding the ID card is same as the person in the card or not.

  3. The citizen must be able to get card as soon as possible, possibly within hours or 1-2 days after he or his parent applies.

  4. A citizen must be able to get a new ID card within hours if his original one is lost.

The modern technology enabled us to provide ALL the above features some 10-20 years ago. And today, it is a triviality. How?

Consider finger print. By scanning finger prints in computer, the identity of a person can be easily checked. Also, say in a population of 10 lakh say some 1000 citizens have registered themselves twice. Then by comparing the finger prints, the modern computers can detect over 95% of such duplicates. Also, a person can be required to submit blood group details such as ABO, +/-, MN, K etc factors. Basically, there some 26 factors in human blood which makes blood group of a person nearly unique. If same person has two or more entries in the database, his blood group details will be same, and a computer by detecting duplicates can easily show such entries. And once the system becomes capable of storing DNA-prints, all identity and duplicate related issues will vanish.

Now, IMO, the system/card should have following details
  1. A unique serial number for each entry and each citizen (as well as alient)

  2. Serial numbers of biological and legal parents.

  3. Name of the person, names of biological/legal parents

  4. Current address, previous addresses

  5. Other names (often name on ration card differs from name on school leaving certificate etc.)

  6. Date of birth, approximate year of birth of DoB proof is not available, Dates of Birth (DoB is sometimes different on different certificates)

  7. IDs of other cards for cross reference, eg serial number of Income Tax dept, election card etc
  8. Photograph taken in past 24 months

  9. Fingerprints : prints of thumbs and all fingers, to be revised every 3 years till person reaches 18 and to be revised every 10 years afterwards.

  10. Blood group details from randomly chosen three different labs.

  11. DNA-prints : if and when cost reducese. In the beginning, the DNA prints should be made compulsory for all Govt servants and those with higher incomes. Then they should be made compulsory for all citizens below 5 years, and then all citizens below 10 years, then all citizens below 15 years and thus gradually cover all citizens.

  12. Each time a card is created and the finger-print is scanned in the computer, and details like blood group details etc are entered, the system should compare these details with details of existing cards so as to ensure that no citizen is issuing two serial numbers.

Proposed administrative procedures #ID.01 : National level ID system Following are the procedures I propose to create a national level ID system
  1. The PM will appoint Home Minister(as today).

  2. The Home Minister will also appoint a Registrar for every district or will ask an exist Registrar to take the tasks to be done under this procedure.

  3. The Home Minister will appoint a System Incharge for National ID system.

  4. The citizens can replace the System Incharge using

  5. The Incharge (of ID system), after obtaining permission from the Parliament, using LM.03 or otherwise, can collect a property tax or income tax to run the National ID System.

  6. The System Incharge will open at least one office in one Tahsil, and in every town bigger than 100,000 of population. He may hire staff members by open competitive exams.

  7. The citizens can expel the staff members using a Jury Trial.

  8. The System Incharge's staff will create one entry for each citizen, and note details like : name, photograph, birth date on birth certificate, birth date on school leaving certificate (if different from birth on birth certificate), address, previous addresses, plot number of his addresses as given by local municipalities, finger print, blood groups, DNA-prints (at later stage) etc.

  9. The System Incharge's will issue an ID card. The ID card will have a picture, finger print, name, serial number, DoB, details blood profile, details DNA-profile and so forth.

  10. To obtain, blood/DNA profiles, the System Incharge will prepare a list of over 100 laboratories (selected after a tender) in the district which do the blood details. For each citizen, the clerk will randomly select 3 labs and the citizen will have to get blood/DNA profiles from these labs. The labs will send the details to clerks directly, and electronically.

  11. A district level senior officer will personally investigate the cases where results of different labs mismatch and disqualify the labs whose over 1% results are inaccurate.

  12. The System Incharge's staff will take photograph and finger-prints, and scan them in computer.

  13. In the initial phase, which may last for say about 1 year, every person resident in India will get registered. (This does NOT mean that everyone is assumed as citizen, as he may be an illegal immigrant). After initial phase, the junior officer will register ONLY the infants, and if a person who is NOT an infant is unregistered, the Jurors can decide a fine on his parents for failing to register their kid within 3 months after he was born.


The cost of system will depend on how detailed the blood profile and DNA-profiles are taken. More the blood/DNA details, higher will be the cost, and better will be the system's ability to track/verify a person.

Advantages of ID.01

  1. Reducing Illegal Immigration : Once the system had finished registing EXISTING citizens, only new borns are registered by the Junior officers, and, that too only if the parents are already registered in the system. And if a person s NOT registered, he and his parents would undergo a scrutiny by Jurors before he gets registered in the system. This ensures that illegal immigrants will NOT be able to get themselves registered in the system.

  2. Improving tax collection : Once everyone has an ID, it is possible to make a law that if a buyer of some goods/services wants the expense to be deducted from his income, he must take sellers' ID and register the reciept in his books. This will ensure that the seller will have to report the revenue to tax authorities, and thus chances that he can evade taxes reduce.

  3. Improving property records : Today, in India, the records of land/building ownership are in complete disarray, as the record keepers keep only the name of he individuals, which is NOT sufficient to identify the individuals. But if unique ID is issued to every individuals, and the officers in charge of maintatining the property records register those IDs, then maintaining ownership record becomes easier, and more accurate.

  4. Tracking criminals : If the system has blood group and DNA details, then the ID system may help in making a list of suspects, How? Often at the crime scene, policemen may be able to obtain blood/DNA samples. They can be matched against the entries in the system, and thus a list of suspects can be made.

Draft of the act to create procedure ID.01

I have drafted the text for "National ID System Act", which if passed by Parliament of India will enable citizens to get equitable royalty over bandwidth. To see the draft, please click here.

     Now citizens can ask MPs to pass this Act. But IMO, it will be wiser for citizens to first enact procedure LM.03, and then use LM.03 to pass this ID.01 draft WITHOUT any help from MPs. To know about procedure LM.03, please click here.

If you have any other question, please mail it to Thousand thanks in advance.

Next - ID.02 : Enacting District level ID System