Bangladesh begins issuing biometric national ID cards

October 5, 2016 - 

The Bangladesh government is issuing national ID cards with biometric details to citizens this week following the inauguration of the Election Commission (EC), according to a report by bdnews24.com.

President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were among the first to receive their new NID cards with biometric information, along with citizens at Dhaka’s Uttara and Ramna after enrolling their fingerprints and iris impressions at two camps.

Chief election commissioner Kazi Rakib Uddin Ahmad has commenced the distribution at the former enclave of Dashiarchharha in northern district Kurhigram.

Voters at sector 1 and 2 of Uttara Model Town are receiving cards from the Uttara High School, as well as Ward 6 residents from Siddheswari Girls’ College, according to the Commission’s PR director, SM Asaduzzaman.

The EC’s NID wing has established a help desk to answer any questions about the NIDs — including distribution centres and schedules — and citizens are being asked to dial 105.

Voters received their new NIDs after submitting the previously laminated cards and enrolling their biometric details.

Those individuals who registered but did not get an NID card will be asked to submit the registration slip as proof.

The cards feature a unique 10-digit identification number that can be used to access several other facilities aside from voting.

The smart card distribution has started on a trial basis to the more than 63,000 voters of ward 1.

The NIDs will be distributed across the country in four phases, with the first phase in Dhaka and Kurhigram; the second phase in Khulna, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Barisal, Sylhet, Narayanganj, Comilla, Rangpur and Gazipur city; the third in 64 Sadar Upazilas; and the fourth in all other Upazilas.

The EC will complete the whole distribution process by December.

Previously reported, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission decreased the maximum number of SIMs that prepaid mobile phone customers can register against their national identity number from 20 SIMs down to just five.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.