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Nilekani, Chidambaram strike biometric data deal; UID back on track

CNN-IBN
Jan 27, 2012 at 09:21pm IST

New Delhi: A compromise was reached on Thursday on the Unique Identification Number (UID) project by Home Ministry and the Planning Commission, Home Minister P Chidambaram said. The Home Minister said that there will be no duplication of work between the UIDAI and the National Population Register (NPR). The NPR is collected by the Home Minister.

The collection of biometric data for the UIDs had also sparked a row, with both the Home Ministry and the UIDAI authorised to collect data. Chidambaram, however, said that the biometric data will be collected by only one authority.

Chidambaram also said that the usage of Aadhar number will also begin soon. "Aadhar number will be useful only when we use it in different programmes," Chidamabaram said.

The NPR will continue to capture biometric data, but if a person says he/she has taken an Aadhar number, no biometric data will then be collected by the NPR. The Home Minister said that the applications of Aadhar can be used for other things including MNREGA, scholarships and ration cards.

Chidambaram pegged the total cost of the project at Rs 8850 crore.

UIDAI Chairman welcomed the suggestion given by Chidambaram of no duplication of works and said, "This will combine the strengths of both the models - UID and NPR."

There were reports saying that Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has thrown his weight behind Nilekani's UIDAI. However, Ahluwalia denied such reports and said, "The Planning Commission is not opposed to anything."

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