Chidambaram expresses concern on UIDAI data collection process

Chidambaram expresses concern on UIDAI data collection process

In a letter to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Chidambaram said the process of the National Population Register being prepared by the Registrar General of India have been carefully devised after considerable deliberations at the level of an Empowered Group of Ministers, pilot trials, consultations with state governments.

"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," he said.
The Home Minister said the UIDAI process of enrolment is based on production of documents and, in the absence of documents, through an introducer based mechanism. It was due to the fact that document based systems are not feasible in rural areas especially among the poor, illiterate, landless and women.

"If the UIDAI process is to be introduced in NPR, it would lead to large scale exclusions. The possibility of inclusion of non-usual residents in the local register and the creation of false identity profiles is also real. This would defeat the purpose of creation of NPR. There are also a number of legal, technical and practical issues that makes it difficult to accept data collected by other registrars," he said in the letter.

Referring to the salient features of the NPR, the Home Minister said it was mandatory to register every citizen and issue an identity card as per Section 14A of the Citizenship Act, 1995 and the intention of the Central government is to prepare a National Population Register for all citizens of the country.

Chidambaram said the suggestion that the NPR exercise may be completed without capturing of biometric data is "unacceptable" as biometric data -- fingerprint and photograph was a part of the pilot project on Multipurpose National Identity Cards.

"This was also a part of the coastal NPR project approved by the government in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks. The government has approved the collection of three biometrics: three fingerprints, photograph and the Iris as part of the NPR project," he said.

Following this decision, the Home Ministry has gone far ahead and finalised all arrangements to complete biographic and biometric enrolments by December 2012.