Painted in Numbers…

A couple of days back I got an e-mail from my bank saying that to be able to operate my account from Apr1st, I need to obtain an UIN ( Unique Identification No.), they sent me a complete legal document with the mail explaining why, what, where and how of the number. All in all it said this number would uniquely identify me as a customer for certain kind of transactions. Now let us see how many numbers uniquely identify me:

PAN (Permanent account number): To uniquely identify me as a tax payer in India and I should be able to use it as identification for any financial transaction.

Passport No: Uniquely identifies me as a citizen of India in the world, acts as identity proof

Driving License Number: Uniquely identifies me as one of the millions of drivers in the world, and acts as a identity proof

NSN (Nation Security Number): yet to be issued by the Provident authorities, I am yet to figure out what it would uniquely identify me as. This is on top of the PF No. that is already unique to me.

NI No: Uniquely identifies me as a tax payer in UK, though they owe me tax refunds for last two years

SSN No: Uniquely identifies me as someone permitted to work in US, though I have been there only twice each time for only three weeks.

Life identified by numbers started when I got my first roll number in school and since then at every step looks like I am required to have unique identity in numbers. Apart from these unique numbers there are other numbers that play important part in your life everyday:

Employee Number: Have to mention it at least 10 times each working day, uniquely identifies me as employee of my organization.

Car No, House No, Telephone Numbers – All are unique to me, though not for ever.

Credit Card Number – Hopefully unique

Bank Account Number – Hopefully unique

Frequent Flyer Numbers – Supposedly Unique

Loyalty Program Numbers – Supposedly Unique

And not to miss the all the user ids and passwords to uniquely identify me in the cyber world…various membership numbers of various institutes, organizations, forums etc. ..again to uniquely identify me as their member.

Would life have been simpler if I was given one unique number when I was born, which I could have used for everything for rest of my life….just wondering…:-)

Anuradha Goyal