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Govt has decided to deliver the UID/Aadhaar number in the form of better, polyvinyl Aadhaar cards

Citizens, enrolling for Aadhaar, will soon get a polyvinyl card with their unique 12-digit number engraved on it in the barcode format instead of a thin sheet of paper with a government logo and the number printed on it. The government has decided to mail cards, pasted on the Aadhaar letter, to the residents to expedite financial inclusion as these cards can be swiped at banks, tellers or business correspondents for transactions. Targeting government's welfare schemes and subsidies better is among the key goals of the Aadhaar project.

"As of now, Unique ID number is being delivered to the resident in the form of a laminated letter through post. Now the government has decided to deliver the UID/Aadhaar number in the form of Aadhaar Card,"Unique Identification Authority of India says in a proposal seen by ET. Aadhaar is the name and the logo of the unique numbers issued by the UIDAI.

The authority has come out with a tender for printing about 15 crore Aadhaar cards in the first phase. The Aadhaar card will carry a colour photograph and will be engraved with two sets of barcodes - linear and matrix. The linear barcode will carry only the 12-digit Aadhaar number.

Demographic information of the resident will be stored in a matrix or QR (quick response) barcode, which has capacity to carry more data. The matrix barcode will carry about 600 characters, which will include the resident's name, address, date of birth, name of a parent or guardian, age and gender.

The data will be readable by a 5-megapixel camera or barcode scanner, linked to a UID server. The thickness of the card will be 600 microns. The matched card will be fixed on Aadhaar letter using hot melt glue.

If an error creeps in the printing of the card, such as incorrect age or a spelling mistake, the printer will be penalised up to 35% of the cost of the card.

The selected printer will also be required to send an apology letter to the The selected printer will have to set up a dedicated leased line linking the printing facility with the UIDAI's data centres. The UIDAI is coming up with a second data centre in Delhi, in addition to the one it has in Bangalore.

About 10 lakh cards will be printed per day and each card will reach the intended resident by India Post within eight days of printing. Bidders are required to submit an earnest money of .Rs1 crore and quote the total per unit cost of the card. The card will increase the cost of enrolment by 20%-30%, firms interested in bidding said. "Our expenditure per enrolment is Rs 100 to Rs 150," UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani told ET in an interview last week. "This includes the Rs 50 paid to registrars and the cost of the letter and the postal delivery charges, which is Rs 22 as of now. The rest is all technology, de-duplication and all that."

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