UID rejig will address security concerns: Nilekani

Aadhaar will play key role in reforming PDS, affirms UIDAI chairman

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Pratap Vikram Singh | February 8, 2012



The unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) reiterated that the security concerns raised by the union home ministry are being looked into and that this introspection is a part of the refresh strategy that the authority is working on. Before entering the next phase of enrolment (scheduled to start from April) the authority has planned to review all aspects for greater precision. 

“As part of the refresh strategy, UIDAI is looking after all the issues including security issue, bearing in mind that fundamentally Aadhaar is a programme of inclusion, which will give the poor, the marginalised and identity less people in this country a chance to participate in society,” Nandan Nilekani, chairman, UIDAI said.  

On a question on the new strategy in the wake of the fresh mandate given by the cabinet committee, he said, “It was a good opportunity for us to take stock of what we are doing, to look at the process, technology, whole user interaction and decide what all tweaking we can do, so that when we enter in the next phase we start doing things with much more precision.”

“When NPR is rolled out, there are two possibilities. Firstly, if somebody comes to the NPR who doesn’t have a UID number, NPR will enroll the person and issue an Aadhaar number. That’s a regular process, where NPR plays roll of a registrar,”  Nilekani replied to a question on the role of the two data collection exercises.

Secondly, he said, prior to the roll out of NP, if a person has already obtained Aadhaar, he or she will not be compelled to submit biometric data.
That ways, the authority will avoid duplication, he said.  He further noted, “In this model, the NPR does exactly what it is doing. The only difference is the biometric collection duplication has been removed.”

On a on query whether Aadhaar and proposed PDS network will play a role in reforming the existing public distribution system in wake of recent media reports saying otherwise, Nilekani said that both are two separate things. He said, “Use of Aadhaar in PDS is very much in the food security act draft proposal.”  The second issue is whether the software for the same will also be developed and deployed across the country. For the same reasons, a report which was submitted by the task force headed by Nilekani on PDS reforms, suggested creation of a “PDS network” as a running company. “That report is under consideration,” he said.

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