New Delhi (Agencies): The Department of Post entered into a strategic joint venture with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for registration and distribution of unique identification (UID) cards to Indian citizens.

"This is not a tactical, but a strategic partnership, where UIDAI will leverage the existing infrastructure of the DoP to reach out to the masses for providing UID," said UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani.

The Department of Post (DoP) has proposed to include one-and-a-half-lakh post offices for this purpose initially. The UIDAI has floated a request for quotation to finalise the agency that will set up and manage infrastructure for registration and distribution of UID cards at these post offices.

"The RFQ will be opened in the next couple of days and then we will finalise agencies to set up and manage infrastructure across all 1,50,000 offices offered by the DoP," stated UIDAI Director General and Mission Director RS Sharma.

The new partnership will boost the existing infrastructure of the UIDAI, which has over one million enrolment centres in nine states.The authority has installed about 5,000 biometric devices for collection of the biometric impressions of citizens, like fingerprint and retina scanners under this mission.

"These 5,000 biometric can collectively enroll 2.5 lakh people per day," said Sharma.

Information Technology and Communications Minister Kapil Sibal, who was also present during the event, mentioned that the government sees UID as a critical initiative to achieve the goal of inclusive growth.

"We have an opportunity to use post offices for inclusive growth through this partnership. If we understand the road ahead, the post offices will be the centre for empowering people," pointed Sibal.