The National Population Register under the Registrar General of India which is competing with the Unique Identification Number Authority of India for getting the right for full enrolment of the population for issuing Unique Identification Number has set a target of completing the task by December 2012, five years earlier than when UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani has promised to complete the task.
NPR has given this deadline in the official schedule that it has prepared for the task it has to do. The task is less for NPR in comparison with what UIDAI has in hand. For NPR has already collected basic data on all citizens in the first round it did alongwith the census this year.
What remains to be done are the biometric and iris scan of all citizens. It has covered 75 lakh citizens so far with a mere 2,500 instruments. It would need another 20,000 equipment to cover the entire population.
While the work of demographic data digitisation and capture of biometric data for 13 coastal states/union territories , Manipur, Nagaland and Delhi has been entrusted to a consortium of Public Sector Undertakings or CPSUs, comprising Bharat Electronics Ltd, Electronics Corporation of India Ltd and ITI Ltd, the rest of the country is being covered by the Department of Information Technology.
DIT would do manual data entry, biometric enrolment, consolidation of both data and deliver it to the Registrar General of India for further de-duplication and assignment of UID number.
DIT has nominated National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology or NIELIT (formerly DOEACC Society) as its nodal implementing agency for executing the NPR project.
Work for biometric enrolment would start in February and conclude in December 2012, NPR sources said.
NPR enrolment is on in 44 districts currently, officials said. The Cabinet Committee on UIDAI is expected to decide the future course of action on the enrolment of citizens.
The Planning Commission Deputy Chairman had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that he could consider four options, viz a model of multiple registrars who don’t get paid by anyone, change in rules of NPR to allow it to accept data collected by outside agencies, to stop NPR from taking biometric data, and lastly, to let NPR do the entire enrolment after UID completes its allotted share of 20 crore enrolments.
The first according to NPR sources wont work as no registrar a bank or a gas agency would be interested in enrolling people if there was no incentive in it. Which bank would go inside villages to enroll people if they are not its customers, asks an official.
States wont get anyone to volunteer to do enrolments if there is no money in it, they point out. The proposal is currently with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet committee on UIDAI is expected to take a decision on who should ultimately do the job.