PC, Nilekani reach consensus on UID
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Last Updated: Saturday, January 28, 2012, 00:16
New Delhi: The ongoing conflict between the Plan panel and the Home Ministry over issuance of chip-based smart cards to all residents was put to rest on Friday as the government cleared the UIDAI's proposal to enroll an extra 40 crore people in 16 states, while the biometrics in other states will be collected under the NPR project.

While the government has cleared additional Rs 5,791.74 crore for the UIDAI, the Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI has assured that the security concerns raised by the Home Ministry would be addressed.

The entire process by the two agencies will be completed by June next year.

"We will review the security concerns in the next six to eight weeks and begin the process of collection of data from April," Nilekani told reporters here after his proposal was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Briefing reporters, Home Minister P Chidambaram said there was no difference with the Planning Commission over the issuance of the cards.

However, in case of "discrepancies between UIDAI data and NPR data, NPR will prevail," Chidambaram said and added the new system is as secure as humanly possible.

"Aadhaar (issued by UIDAI) is voluntary and NPR is mandatory...It is a government programme," Chidambaram said and maintained that the issue of duplicacy of the data has been avoided.

"Most avoidable duplication and avoidable costs have been avoided," he said and explained that residents who had been issued "Aadhaar" number issued by UIDAI will not have to give their bio-metrics again for the NPR.

The chip-based Multipurpose National Identity Card issued by the NPR will capture 15 details of every individual where as the UIDAI collects five fields.

Chidambaram said adequate precautions have been taken to avoid duplication in data collection. "However, in a country of 1.2 billion people, small overlap is unavoidable."

He said the government will come out with a bill to give statutory backing to National Population Register (NPR), implemented by Registrar General of India (RGI).

The NPR-- the digital database of residents under construction-- will continue enrollment as envisaged, but if in the course of enrollment, a person indicates he/she is already enrolled for Aadhaar, the biometric data will not be captured by NPR, Chidambaram said.

Instead, the Aadhaar number/enrollment number will be recorded in NPR and the biometric data will be sourced from the UIDAI, he added.

Later in a statement, the government said, "detailed protocols will be worked out by Inter Ministerial Co-ordination Committee (IMCC) already constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs so as to smoothly implement this simultaneous effort."

The modalities and detailed protocol for smooth implementation of simultaneous enrollment by the Non-RGI Registry of UIDAI and the RGI will be finalised by the IMCC within the overall directions given by the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI.

The financial proposal relating to Aadhaar enrollments of additional 40 crore will be separately placed before the Expenditure Finance Committee. Pending this approval, UIDAI is allowed to continue Aadhaar enrollment beyond 20 crore so that the momentum of the field formations is not lost. Provision will be made in the budget for 2012-13 in anticipation thereof, the statement said.

The additional cost for enrollment and logistics pertaining to printing and delivery of Aadhaar letters in respect of the 40 crore additional enrollments will be brought before the Expenditure Finance Committee for their recommendation and to the Cabinet Cabinet on UIDAI for approval, it added.


First Published: Friday, January 27, 2012, 10:10

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