PC, Nilekani reach consensus on UID

The Cabinet Committee has agreed to extend the mandate of UIDAI to issue 40 crore more UID cards here on Friday.

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.