India: id card biometric data capture agreement

There has been a power struggle going on for a while between Home Ministry and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on who should capture biometric data for national id card program. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced last Friday that both agencies would collect the data on 50/50 share hich means 600 million people per agency in 1.2 billion India. In such a big project some duplication and overlapping is unavoidable but is expect to be minimal. Interestingly UIDAI collects different data than Registrar General of India (RGI). Enrollment for national id card program called National Population Register (NPR) is expected to be completed by June 2013. Collected data will be shared between RGI and UIDAI so that any gaps can be covered and ambiguity cleared. Until then people enrolled by UIDAI will get an Aadhaar number but not id card while residents from which data was collected by RGI will get an ID but not the national identification number. Heads of both agencies agreed that the solution proposed by the prime minister is fair. At this point we can safely say that Home Minister Chidambaram and Nandan Nilekani, chairman of UIDAI have ended the tension between the ministries and national id card project is now in full swing.

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