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Aadhaar data puts MHA in a spot

Last updated: 20 November, 2011
New Delhi, Nov 19, DHNS: 1:56 IST

Ministry expresses reservations on security aspects of UIDAI

The turf war between Nandan Nilekani headed UIDAI and National Population Registry (NPR) under the Union home ministry has intensified with the former enlisting the support of state governments.

The home ministry has expressed reservations on security aspects of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) card Aadhaar data, apprehending it could be faked due to loopholes in the enrolling process of citizens.

The ministry is understood to have suggested discontinuation of its work.
In a bid to strengthen its case, the UIDAI has decided to seek support from various states where the unique identity numbers have been rolled out.

Enrolling method

Sources close to the development told Deccan Herald that at the behest of the UIDAI, some chief ministers have agreed to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reposing faith in the UIDAI method of enrolling people.

Similarly, chief secretaries of these states are also expected to write to the cabinet secretary backing the UIDAI.

“The BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had agreed to write such a letter to the prime minister. Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda will follow suit soon,” sources said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has already reposed his faith in the UIDAI in his speech during the recently held National Development Council meeting.

The UIDAI is upbeat about getting enough support from states. Tamil Nadu, which was reluctant to come to the UIDAI fold earlier, has decided to adopt it after Jayalalitha came to power.

The issue of authenticity of biometric details collection was triggered after the home
ministry expressed concern over the data collection process of the UIDAI saying there was chance of inclusion of non-usual residents and creation of false profile which may compromise internal security.

The ministry’s concern came in the backdrop of complaints of enrolling illegal immigrants in north-eastern states by privately hired multiple registers.

Earlier the government had asked the UIDAI to begin its enrollment by capturing the biometric data up to 200 million people. Subsequently NPR was also to utilise the same data while issuing its citizenship cards. However, sources said now the NPR has refused to use the UIDAI data saying that it was not foolproof. According to home ministry officials, the data collected by multiple registrars of the UIDAI does not meet the degree of assurance required under the NPR from the point of view of internal security.

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