New Delhi: Over 2.8 crore Aadhaars -- unique identity numbers (UID) -- have so far been issued across the country with Andhra Pradesh leading the project having issued 9.6 lakh Aadhaars alone, Nandan Nilekani, chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said on Wednesday.

“We have issued 2.87 crore Aadhaars till now. Everyday almost 5 to 6 lakh people are being issued the UID,” said Nilekani in an Information Technology Committee meeting here.  “We are confident that we can scale it up to 1.2 billion people,” he added.

The UIDAI targets to issue 60 crore Aadhaars by 2014.  Nilekani also insisted that under the UID project privacy will be protected and personal data will not be accessible to everybody.

Legal experts have been skeptical about the protection of private data with the rollout of UID numbers as they fear the number, which will be issued based on personal information given by a person, might be leaked to various other agencies.

Denying that Aadhaar can be mandatory, Nilekani said, “It can't be mandatory as of now but over the years individual agencies could well make it mandatory.”

The unique identification project aims to issue a unique number 'Adhaar' to all Indians which would provide a database of residents containing very simple data in biometrics. A 12-digit unique number, Adhaar will be stored in a centralised database and will be easily verifiable in an online, cost-effective way.

(Agencies)