PC concerned on UIDAI data collection process

Home Minister P Chidambaram has expressed concern over the data collection process of Unique Identification Authority of India.

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram has
expressed concern over the data collection process of Unique
Identification Authority of India saying there was real chance
of inclusion of non-usual residents and creation of false
profile in the project which may compromise internal security.
In a letter to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek
Singh Ahluwalia, Chidambaram said the process of the National
Population Register being prepared by the Registrar General of
India have been carefully devised after considerable
deliberations at the level of an Empowered Group of Ministers,
pilot trials, consultations with state governments.

"The data collected by multiple registrars of the UIDAI
does not meet the degree of assurance required under the NPR
from the point of view of internal security," he said.

The Home Minister said the UIDAI process of enrolment is
based on production of documents and, in the absence of
documents, through an introducer based mechanism. It was due
to the fact that document based systems are not feasible in
rural areas especially among the poor, illiterate, landless
and women.

"If the UIDAI process is to be introduced in NPR, it
would lead to large scale exclusions. The possibility of
inclusion of non-usual residents in the local register and the
creation of false identity profiles is also real. This would
defeat the purpose of creation of NPR. There are also a number
of legal, technical and practical issues that makes it
difficult to accept data collected by other registrars," he
said in the letter.

Referring to the salient features of the NPR, the Home
Minister said it was mandatory to register every citizen and
issue an identity card as per Section 14A of the Citizenship
Act, 1995 and the intention of the Central government is to
prepare a National Population Register for all citizens of the
Chidambaram said the suggestion that the NPR exercise may
be completed without capturing of biometric data is
"unacceptable" as biometric data -- fingerprint and photograph
was a part of the pilot project on Multipurpose National
Identity Cards.

"This was also a part of the coastal NPR project approved
by the government in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. The
government has approved the collection of three biometrics:
three fingerprints, photograph and the Iris as part of the NPR
project," he said.

Following this decision, the Home Ministry has gone far
ahead and finalised all arrangements to complete biographic
and biometric enrolments by December 2012.


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