Compromise reached on Unique ID project row (Lead)

January 27th, 2012 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) A compromise formula over identity cards for 1.2 billion Indians was worked out Friday with the government asking both the home ministry and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to collect biometric data without any duplication.

A cabinet committee on UIDAI chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh settled the turf war between Home Minister P. Chidambram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and extended the mandate of UIDAI (which comes under the Planning Commission) to issue 600 million cards in 16 states and union territories.

The home ministry will cover the remaining 600 million people as part of the National Population Register (NPR) being prepared by the Registrar General of India.

Chidambaram said both UIDAI and the NPR will go ahead with their work simultaneously and try to complete the process by mid-2013.

The home minister said there could be around 5 percent duplication in the entire process but that is negligible.

Duplication in collection of biometric data by Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI and the NPR and security issues involved in the process had sparked a row between the Planning Commission and the home ministry.

“The NPR will continue to capture biometric data, but if a person says he or she has taken an Aadhar (UIDAI) number, no biometric data will then be collected by the NPR,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram said at a joint presser with Nilekani and Planning Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

“We had raised the issue that there will be duplication in the collection of biometric ID. We had proposed that one authority will collect biometric, the second authority will take it,” said Chidambaram.

After Chidambaram flagged the security issue, Nilekani said the UIDAI will do a complete review of its strategy over the next six to eight weeks.

“We will start covering the additional 400 million people only in April this year,” said Nilekani.

The UID project, called Aadhar, aims to give every Indian resident a unique identity number.

The NPR would lead to a resident identity card which will culmitnate in a citizenship card.

The whole effort is aimed at using the identity so generated to improve delivery of various public services, said Chidambaram.

The UID project is primarily aimed at ensuring inclusive growth by providing a form of identity to those who do not have any identity.

It seeks to provide UID numbers to the marginalized sections of society and strengthen equity.

The cabinet committee approved an additional expenditure of Rs.5,000 crore for the project.

Around 17 crore enrolments have been completed by the UIDAI and as on Jan 20, 2012 with 11.90 crore Aadhaar numbers generated.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |

Subscribe