Chidambaram gives out smart ID cards in AndamansJanuary 22nd, 2012 - 3:04 am ICT by IANS
Port Blair, Jan 21 (IANS) Amid a silent but raging battle with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia over the Unique Identification Number project, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday handed out the first bunch of his ministry-created 2.56 lakh resident cards at a village in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Chidambaram gave out the first lot of resident identity cards under the coastal National Population Register (NPR) project at Porthrapur village in South Andaman district.
Bhulaxmi, a resident of Porthrapur, was the first recipient of the card with 64 KB micro processor chip — a rival to the unique identity number conceived by the Planning Commission.
The unique card project is handled by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) led by techoncrat Nandan Nilekani.
But Chidambaram has objected to the Nilekani’s ID project that will provide to every Indian a card bearing a 12-digit identification number or Aadhaar stored in a central database and linked to the individual’s fingerprints and other biometric data.
The home minister Friday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ask Ahluwalia to move a cabinet note in its expected Wednesday meeting, to clarify the status of the UIDAI project. The ministry says its data collection is unreliable and flawed and does not have legal authority to collect biometric data.
Following the first lot in Porthapur, the home minister will distribute resident cards at Pattipulam village in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu Monday.
In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 365 villages and the town of Port Blair have been covered under the coastal NPR project. A total of 388,398 people have been covered. Of this, 282,885 people above the age of 18 would be issued identity cards.
The Indian government had decided to create a National Population Register (NPR) in the country.
As a first step, the coastal NPR project was taken up in coastal areas of maritime states and union territories. This was done to strengthen the security of the country’s coastline in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attack.
Chidambaram’s ministry wants UIDAI to stop collecting biometric data and leave the job to the Registrar General of India, which is collecting the data for the smart cards.
The ministry wants the unique identity number to be made part of its smart card and maintenance and update of the database to be in the hands of the office of registrar general and census commissioner. This would eventually scrap the UIDAI.
Ahluwalia says Aadhaar is a more practical option when it comes to electronic transfer of benefits to the rural poor.
Nilekani Saturday refused to comment on the alleged rivalry between Chidambaram and Ahluwalia.
“We believe that we followed due process…we have very high standards of security, we believe that it serves the purpose it does,” Nilekani told NDTV.
He said that it was up to the cabinet to decide whether his organisation should continue to collect biometric data or if that exercise remains the prerogative of the home ministry.
- Both home ministry, UIDAI to gather data, cabinet decides - Jun 07, 2012
- Compromise reached on Unique ID project row (Lead) - Jan 27, 2012
- Compromise reached on Unique ID project row - Jan 27, 2012
- Cabinet to resolve Montek-Chidambaram row over UIDAI - Jan 20, 2012
- Over 2.8 crore unique identity numbers issued - Aug 24, 2011
- Aadhar targets 200 million enrolments soon - Jan 21, 2012
- No differences on Aadhar: Chidambaram - Jan 24, 2012
- UIA releases the list of enrolment agencies - Jul 15, 2010
- One crore Indians get their unique ID number - Jun 30, 2011
- Cyber expert fears misuse of UID numbers - Aug 12, 2011
- Data collection method of unique ID authority finalised (Lead) - May 18, 2010
- FAQ on 'Aadhaar' (To go with 'How to get your own unique identity') - May 08, 2011
- Cabinet clears creation of National Population Register - Mar 19, 2010
- Census 2011 and National Population Register (NPR) almost complete: Chidambaram - Nov 30, 2010
- Unique ID project set to meet target: Nilekani - Jun 17, 2011
Tags: andaman and nicobar, andaman and nicobar islands, biometric data, cabinet note, central database, digit identification number, home minister, manmohan singh, maritime states, micro processor, montek singh ahluwalia, nandan nilekani, national population, port blair, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, processor chip, resident cards, south andaman, tamil nadu