The Aadhaar card has emerged as probably the world’s largest biometric identification programmes in the world with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issuing nearly 82 crore cards. Available data shows that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) biometric database is way behind with 15 crore and with more Indians expected to register for Aadhaar, it could emerge as the largest programme of its kind globally.

Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of enrolments with 10.48 crore cards while Maharashtra had 9.19 crore and West Bengal 6.12 crore up to April 20. Data showed that the UIDAI has issued 81.78 crore cards, covering nearly 67% of the population. The unique ID card programme, which was on the brink of being abandoned after the NDA government was swept to power in May last year, has been pursued vigorously by the Modi administration as it pushed to tackle unwieldy subsidies and roll out its massive Jan Dhan financial inclusion drive.The government persisted with Aadhaar after the former chairman of UIDAI Nandan Nilekani detailed the benefits of the Aadhaar card to PM Narendra Modi. MORE