The first 16-digit number under this project will be rolled out by February next year
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, reports PTI.
The Unique Identification Number project of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chaired by Nandan Nilekani was renamed ‘AADHAAR’ (foundation) as part of the government’s 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,” Mr 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.
Mr Nilekani said that 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.
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 2,000 entries.
Speaking to PTI, Mr 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.”
Mr Pande, who will 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.”
Mr Nilekani said that the project was aimed at the underprivileged 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 RS Sharma said that the first 16-digit number would be rolled out by February next year.
The central bank has invited quotations from a number of consultancy organisations for the index which will cover new construction activities in all major cities
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated an exercise to set up a housing start-up index (HSUI) to track new residential projects in 31 major cities and measure the changes in construction activities, reports PTI.
The HSUI will cover new residential projects in all major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, among others, the RBI said while inviting quotations from consultancy organisations.
The RBI said that housing start-ups in a particular quarter would be estimated from the permits issued in that quarter and the various past quarters by using the rates at which the permits got converted into start-ups in the recent past.
“The periodicity of this survey will be once in three years. The agency needs to visit about 350 sites to get the details on house start-ups in each city,” the RBI said in the tender notice.
The housing index will give insights into consumer activity, as construction of new houses typically requires large investment.
“It depicts forward trends in the economy. An economy that is growing rapidly has an increased demand for housing and HSUI could be used to forecast demand for new houses,” the apex bank said.
The index would also act as an indicator of economic growth as more houses would lead to increased demand for inputs like steel, cement and credit. The data on housing would be collected for eight quarters. This data will be processed through a co-efficient matrix to arrive at the actual data.
The National Housing Bank (NHB) had last year decided to expand an index of residential real-estate rates from the five cities it currently covers to 36 cities. The index, called the NHB Residex, which is the country’s first official residential property price index, now covers Bengaluru, Bhopal, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
The Indian Railways has once again chosen an expensive foreign technology (TPWS) over India’s own patented ACD system
The Indian Railways recently decided to adopt the European technology Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) on busy rail routes to avoid collisions. However, the government has once again ignored the indigenous & cost-effective anti-collision device (ACD) system developed by the Konkan Railway and has instead opted for an expensive foreign technology.
According to industry experts, TPWS is not only expensive, but also less efficient compared to the ACD system. Rajaram Bojji, inventor of the ACD technology and former managing director, Konkan Railway, has also written to the railway minister on this issue.
In his letter addressed to the minister, he has stated, “You have chosen to approve more expensive systems which do not provide the protection against collisions as widely as ACD can provide. You are ill-advised.”
What is the point of using a so-called certified system, costing 10 times more, but not meeting our requirements? He said that European systems were being promoted, while condemning the successfully proven ACD. The home-grown system is certified by all tests of the Research Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO) and through field implementation—as being able to prevent all dangerous collisions in mid-section, at the station and near the stations.
Commenting on the features of the TPWS, a senior railway ministry official was quoted in a news report as stating, “If the train jumps the red signal, then brakes will be applied automatically under the TPWS system. A majority of the recent accidents took place due to trains jumping red signals in foggy conditions.”
However, Mr Bojji points out the flaws in this expensive imported system. “The entire expenditure on TPWS is to protect the red signal at the stations. But unless the driver observes a lot of discipline, the system fails in protection.” He said the ten times (more) expensive system is being provided only to cover a rail line of one kilometre before a red signal. During the first trials, where ACD was installed on some 15 trains, the cost came to about Rs1,50,000 to Rs2,00,000 per locomotive. The cost went up to Rs5,50,000 during the trial run. At present, the cost would not be more than Rs7,00,000 per locomotive .
The TPWS is estimated to cost Rs70 lakh per km, and will be implemented over an 828-km rail stretch. The total cost for installing the TPWS would be about Rs579.60 crore. On the other hand, the ACD will provide a more efficient and cheaper overall protection against collisions.
ACD, which is a no-signal equipment, has superior wide-area safety-enhancing capability, while costing much less individually. As a network, it delivers extremely superior performance as compared to signal systems. It also has an upgradation cycle in technology terms through progressive software and hardware additions, to eliminate the current old-fashioned Western technology-based signal systems. “This is what the signal department of the Indian Railways fears and thus is trying to fight tooth-and-nail against the introduction of the ACD,” Mr Bojji further stated.
The signal department of the Indian Railways demands a Safety Integrity Level (SIL) certification for ACDs. However, Mr Bojji stated, “ACD, actually not being signal equipment, but only an additional layer, does not need SIL certification, this was confirmed by TUV Germany too in their report for assessing the ACD.”