The Union Cabinet of the Indian Government has approved the creation of a digital database of the "usual residents" of India, called the National Population Register (NPR); the project shall cover 1.2 billion people, and is expected to cost Rs 35.39 billion. The database, which will include photographs and biometic information like fingerprints will feed into the National Unique Identification project. The draft database, once finalized, will be sent to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for biometric duplication and assigning of a unique identification number. This UID number will be added to the NPR database. As we had reported earlier, the UIDAI intends to open up its API to allow private companies to use its authentication services. The UID project is expected to start issuing ids in the next 12-18 months time and plans to cover 600 million within four years. Data Collection The data collection for the NPR will begin with the House listing and Housing Census starting in April 2010 and will be completed in a phased manner by September 2010. It will be digitized and translated into English and the official language of every individual state. This will be followed by collection or capture of photographs and 10 fingerprints of all individuals aged 15 years and above. The Unique ID project is believed to be critical, since it is expected to provide key identification information for Indian citizens, in order to facilitate the provision of various government and non-government services. Authentication of information is an issue in India, whether when…
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