Cabinet to decide fate of UIDAI

Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji, Union Home Secretary R K Singh and Registrar General of India (RGI) C Chandramouli held a discussion a couple of days back here to explore ways to wriggle out the issue.

Though what transpired in the meeting was not known officially, sources told Deccan Herald that they have discussed ways to address the issue following the opposition expressed by the home ministry about the data collection method adopted by the UIDAI.
With many states seeking clarification from the Centre, whether to continue data collection under the UIDAI or wait for the National Population Registry (NPR) under RGI for the same task, the meeting also discussed the issue at length.

“A note is being prepared about the issue and the committee headed by the prime minister will take a final call on the controversy. Home Minister P Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia are its members”, sources added.

The Cabinet panel will also address the issue of convergence between UID and NPR exercises, including the request of the MHA to leave the collection of biometrics entirely to the RGI.

The UIDAI, which was asked to collect biometric details of 20 crore people, had already registered around 12 crore people after which the NPR was supposed to take over the responsibility.

Though the NPR, which is in the process of issuing Multipurpose National Identity Cards (MNIC) to every citizen of the country, had earlier agreed to use the UIDAI data, it has now refused to accept it saying that it was not completely foolproof.

Raised alarm
Earlier this month, the home minister had raised an alarm over the way the data was being collected, including biometric details collected by the Authority for issuing Aadhar number.

In his letter to the prime minister as well as Planning Commission deputy chairman, the home minister said that as per the current form of data collection method adopted by the UIDAI, there was chance of inclusion of non-usual residents and creation of false profile in the project which may compromise internal security.

The home minister’s concern came in the backdrop of the lot of complaints of enrolling illegal immigrants in north eastern states and Gujarat by privately hired multiple registers.

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