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UIDAI to review biometric data collection process: Chidambaram

New Delhi: Faced with strong objections from the Home Ministry, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has decided to do a complete review on the procedure and processes of collecting biometric data of 60 crore resident Indians and address all security concerns.

Home Minister P Chidambaram today said UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani conveyed that he would spend the next two months doing a complete review and it would resume biometric capture only in April.

“We have conveyed what the agencies have told us. For the example, the introducer-based model…when somebody introduces somebody, that gives scope for false identity being created, and then there are revelations in the media that people, for a small amount of money, were giving introduction letters.

“That is being brought to Mr Nilekani’s notice and then the competition between more than one agency to capture biometrics. We should not overlook the procedure for the quality of capture of biometrics. The standard must be observed. But I am assured by Mr Nilekani that in the next two months, they will do a through review of all the procedure and processes and ready to resume biometric capture in April. Let’s wait and see,” he said.

Chidambaram said on January 27, the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI has decided that the National Population Register (NPR) and UIDAI enrollments should proceed simultaneously with suitable provisions to eliminate avoidable overlap.

“Scanning of population enumeration schedules has been completed for 16 crore out of the total of 27 crore schedules. The data processing of more than eight crore schedules has been completed. Capture of biometrics for the National Population Register is in progress. As on date, biometrics have been captured for more than one crore persons,” he said.

The home minister said in those states where UIDAI was not collecting biometrics data, NPR the entire responsibility falls under NPR and therefore in order to meet the deadline of June 2013, NPR would have to roll out in the remaining states very quickly.

“But in the states where UIDAI is present and working, NPR can be rolled out a little later because the NPR will do what is called sweep or mop up. That is a matter to be decided by RGI, based on the number of personnel he has, number of machines he has etc,” he said.

Chidambaram said the Registrar General of India will decide when it will do, which state it will do depending upon the logistics of moving into those states.
“Those are administrative decision which RGI is competent to take. But we will complete the entire country and collect biometrics by June 2013,” he said.

Chidambaram refused to say anything on financial burden the government will bear for UIDAI carrying out the exercise of collecting the biometrics data for 60 crore resident Indians.

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