NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday showed willingness to integrate the UIDAI(Aadhaar) project with National Population Register (NPR) which the NDA regime has been pushing over Aadhaar.
At an inter-ministerial meeting held at the home ministry on Thursday, it was discussed how the two projects could be integrated with UIDAI data being used by NPR and making a common pool. The meeting was attended by home minister Rajnath Singh, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and minister of state for planning Rao Inderjit Singh.
The idea, said sources, is to end the duplication that the previous regime allegedly embarked upon with both projects working independently.
The ministers took stock of the various aspects of NPR and Aadhaar, how to avoid duplication between the two and discussed the suggestion of marriage of NPR and Aadhaar schemes, a home ministry official said.
“During the meeting, the planning department argued that even without verification, Aadhaar had created at least some kind of identification data covering a large part of the population. It was discussed that this data could be used by NPR following verification,” said the official.
The home ministry has already suggested that NPR and Aadhaar schemes should be merged under the Registrar General of India (RGI) or division of work between the two should be in such a way that enrolment is done entirely by NPR while UIDAI, which runs Aadhaar, carries out de-duplication ahead of generating the unique number.
The issue will be followed up by the secretaries of the ministries concerned in the coming days.
Incidentally, the UPA’s flagship Aadhaar scheme was earlier criticized by a parliamentary standing committee, headed by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, over its duplication with NPR exercise and security concerns arising out of its enrolment process, particularly its introductory system, and security of Aadhaar data in private hands.
The home minister has set a three-year deadline to identify genuine Indian citizens through the NPR project. The government also wants enumerators to conduct door-to-door verification across the country and issue NPR cards only to Indian nationals.
It is also planning to link NPR to voting rights, which means election identity cards would not be the sole document for eligibility to vote, officials said.