August 9, 2012 -
India’s Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) has overruled objections by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on the issuance of resident identity cards.
Instead, the EFC gave a nod for Home Ministry’s Resident Identity Card system to process offline applications for security and authentication. The project will issue all Indian citizens with a 64 kb micro-chip based card embedded with biometrics features for security and authentication purposes.
The offline platform, together with handheld devices ensures good delivery results considering the situation in India where some locales do not have access to the Internet, or dependable Internet connections, like those in rural areas.
EFC ‘s decision came after the RIC proposal was reviewed by a subcommittee headed by Dr. B K Gairola, director-general of National Informatics Centre, along with representatives from the Registrar General of India, Center for Development of Advanced Computing, the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, the Department of Financial Services, the Election Committee, and the Labour Ministry.
A government official said: “The technical committee was appointed with terms and reference to check the feasibility of the RIC in other sectors. The committee gave a go-ahead in the EFC meeting.”
Based on their review, the offline verification process can be extended beyond providing security. It can be multi-purpose to assist in the delivery of targeted social welfare schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), public distribution system and health insurance (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna), along with e-banking and elections.
The rollout of offline enrolment is projected for March 2013.
Do you agree that offline verification process using biometrics security will deliver better results to millions of Indians receiving social welfare benefits?