"The unique ID number is optional and will not be proof of the person's citizenship, Nilekani said during a meeting with senior Maharashtra Government officials at Mantralaya," an official release said.
"Nilekani is very hopeful that the unique ID system would cover at least 60 crore Indians within 12 to 18 months," the release added.
Nilekani who is right now looking into the implementation of the unique ID project in Maharashtra, has expressed confidence that Maharashtra being a major state in IT industry, would lead in implementing the project, an official revealed.
The Union government will be seeking help from banks, Election Commission, state governments and other organisations to collect data of people.
A high level committee, headed by state Chief Secretary Johny Joseph, will also be set up to monitor the work and progress of the project which aims at giving unique number to all Indian citizens.