As far as smart cards are concerned we have a major role in integrating services. We have a list of empanelled vendors who are outsourced work like collecting personal data, biometrics and images and then printing smart cards. The costs are also reasonable. For 32 kb cards, the cost is close to Rs 23 while for 64 kb card it is Rs 33.80.
With regards to authentication, my suggestion is that smart cards should have a role based authentication. Take the example of a driving licence. The regional transport office (RTO), the traffic cop or a judge in court should have different levels of authentication. The traffic cop should be authorised to only write an offence and should not be permitted to change any existing information. The RTO should be able to edit information on renewal. The judge should be able to read past offences and impose penalty. The idea is to have clear role definitions.
Another important suggestion I would like to make is that the usage of cards should be integrated. Today all departments have their own cards for various purposes. In future we should have a single card for all types of services and purposes.