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Cabinet may take final call on future of UIDAI on Wednesday

Press Trust of India
Jan 24, 2012 at 08:41pm IST

New Delhi: The government is likely to take the final decision on Wednesday on the proposal to give statutory powers to Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI to issue national identity cards to the entire population instead of the mandated 200 million.

"A Cabinet Committee will take a view on the Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) proposal for expanding its mandate to enroll the entire population," a source said.

The Planning Commission and the Home Ministry are locked in a hard tussle over the unique identification number project and both of them had taken the issue to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a solution.

Cabinet may decide on the future of UID on Wed

The Planning Commission and the MHA are locked in a tussle over the UID project.

The government, the source said, will have to take a decision as UIDAI is likely to complete the mandate of enrolling 200 million residents even before the deadline of March 31 this year.

According to sources, the Finance Ministry is not opposed to the UIDAI proposal but it does not want the duplication of work.

However, Telecom and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, sources said, is supporting the Home Ministry proposal to create a digital data base of the entire population which will be called the National Population Register (NPR).

At the centre of the controversy is the collection of bio-metric data of all residents.

While the Home Ministry has maintained that the Registrar General of India (RGI) under it has been mandated to collect the data through the NPR, the Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI has also been authorised to gather the information.

Home Minister P Chidambaram has sought clarity on the status on who will capture bio-metric data - RGI or UIDAI. The Home Ministry feels the data collected by UIDAI was not secure as it is not verified by a government servant.

The data collection by UIDAI has been done by hired organisations which is a cause of concern for the Home Minister.

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