Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Department of Electronics and Information & Technology (DEIT) has raised objections to the Home minister P Chidambaram’s Resident Identity Card (RIC) project,
under the government’s National Population Register (NPR) initiative, questioning the project’s capacity to be used as verification means for various offline services, reports DNA.
In December 2011, the Home Ministry had proposed to issue identity cards for every adult resident in the country and had rolled the first set of these identity cards at Porthrapur village in South Andaman district of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. However, a high powered expenditure finance committee had recently set up a committee under National Informatics Centre’s director general BK Gairola to evaluate the possibilities of using this card for other purposes like delivery of targeted services like MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), public distribution system, health insurance, various other financial and election purposes.
The report quotes Nandan Nilekani claiming that online authentication which is being used by Aadhaar numbers is a better means for the government to deliver targeted schemes. Note that UIDAI had launched a web-based authentication interface for Aadhaar numbers earlier this year, which allowed banks, telecom companies and government departments to authenticate an Indian resident on the basis of his Aadhaar number or UID, in accordance with KYC norms and process his application accordingly. However, a few government departments were skeptical about UIDAI’s online platform considering unreliability of Internet in the country and had opted for an offline approach with hand-held devices.
In a related development, The Pioneer reports that the department of Rural Development, which is the registrar to UIDAI for Aadhar enrolment, has invited bids from enrollment agencies enlisted by UIDAI in Jharkand, to manage enrollment in seven districts of the state. The final phase of enrollment is scheduled to resume from 16th August.
The report cites sources to inform that a fresh tender has been issued as additional and more stringent guidelines and conditions have been suggested by the UIDAI. According to the report 72,36,841 people from the State have been enrolled under the UID scheme, with companies like Wipro, MSK Enterprises, IL&FS, Vision Comptech Intergartor Ltd and others serving as enrollment agencies. The enrollment is significant following trials for routing all welfare schemes related payments, especially wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), through UID numbers, being conducted in the state.
Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit has said that she was not satisfied with the pace of enrolment for Adhaar number, and has asked UID Chairman Nandan Nilekani to expedite the process in the city, according to a PTI report. The report quotes officials saying that the progress of data collection and enrollment by five private agencies appointed to collect bio-metric data and registration of citizens for issuance of Adhaar numbers, was not satisfactory and that thousands of residents have not received adhaar numbers months after enrollment. The report also suggests that the Delhi government plans to use the Adhaar database to identify beneficiaries for various schemes and plug the loopholes in the PDS .
The Ministry of Rural Development intends to update the Registration Act, to enable online application for the registration of land and property documents and to allow registration officers to use Unique Identification (UID) or Aadhaar number to verify the identity of applicants, reports The Hindu.
Quoting a senior official who informed that a note had been prepared and would be submitted to the cabinet in a week for it. The report also adds that under the proposed amendment the register of all documents, except wills, will be openly accessible to the general public.
Gold loan companies, including the likes of Muthoot Finance and Mannpuram Finance, are reportedly asking customers for their Aadhar Cards and UID numbers under KYC (Know your customer) norms, following the RBI’s insistence oon better KYC norms to check correction in gold prices, reports The Economic Times. The companies intend to start online verification using UID numbers, although the verification facility has not been introduced by the authorities so far, according to the report.
Compiled by Anupam Saxena & Vikas SN