The ongoing conflict between the Planning Commission and the Home Ministry over issuance of chip-based smart cards to all residents was put to rest on Friday as the government cleared the Unique Identification Authority of India’s proposal to enrol an extra 40 crore people in 16 States, while the biometrics in other States will be collected under the National Population Register project.
While the government has cleared additional Rs. 5,791.74 crore for the UIDAI, the Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI has assured that the security concerns raised by the Home Ministry would be addressed.
The entire process by the two agencies will be completed by June next year.
"We will review the security concerns in the next six to eight weeks and begin the process of collection of data from April," Nilekani told reporters here after his proposal was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI.
Briefing reporters, Home Minister P Chidambaram said there was no difference with the Planning Commission over the issuance of the cards.
However, in case of "discrepancies between UIDAI data and NPR data, NPR will prevail," Chidambaram said and added the new system is as secure as humanly possible.
"Aadhaar [issued by the UIDAI] is voluntary and NPR is mandatory... It is a government programme," Chidambaram said and maintained that the issue of duplication of the data has been avoided.
"Most avoidable duplication and avoidable costs have been avoided," he said and explained that residents who had been issued "Aadhaar" number issued by the UIDAI will not have to give their bio-metrics again for the NPR.
The chip-based Multipurpose National Identity Card issued by the NPR will capture 15 details of every individual where as the UIDAI collects five fields.