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Biometric national ID card projects advance in Nepal and Croatia

Ghanaian embassy to enroll biometrics and print passports, Iran makes its own
Biometric national ID card projects advance in Nepal and Croatia

A bid notice for printing and supplying Nepal’s new biometric national identity cards will be issued within three months, The Kathmandu Post reports.

The cards are eventually expected to replace the existing citizenship card and provide access to range of government services with fingerprint and face biometric identity verification.

While the country’s plan to issue 10 million of the ID cards with embedded biometric data in the next fiscal year has been put in jeopardy by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government plans to issue cards to those already enrolled.

Department of National ID and Civil Registration Director General Jitendra Basnet said the government is prioritizing collecting citizen’s data and had not set a new card issuance target for the year.

Biometrics enrollment for the program was halted in several districts in mid-October, and is expected to be postponed for at least two more months in one. Collection originally began in urban areas, but is now concentrated on rural areas where infection rates for the novel coronavirus are lower.

Roughly 117,000 people received ID cards during a pilot program.

Croatia brings Identity Card Act to parliament

Croatia’s government is bringing an amended Identity Card Act before parliament to gain approval for the inclusion of facial images supporting biometrics and two fingerprints in the chip of the new ID cards, according to Croatia Week.

The visual appearance of the card is also planned for a change to incorporate the EU symbol and Croatia’s two-letter country code to comply with regional rules for ID cards. The age limit for issuing cards with longer validity is also being raised from 65 to 70.

The law is expected to take effect on August 2, 2021.

Iran issues 2.6M ID cards produced domestically

Iran has issued 2.6 million domestically-produced national smart identity cards since the middle of March, Trend News Agency reports.

The government began producing the ID cards in-country in 2019, after it began experiencing problems importing the cards in 2017. The cards produced in Iran are similar to the foreign-produced version and meets the same technical standards, according to a government spokesperson.

A total of 62 million people above 15 years of age are expected to receive the cards, and 48.6 million have been issued out of 58.7 million applications since the scheme was launched in 2012.

The card will be used to provide digital identification for online services, while protecting personal information, according to the report.

Ghana launches biometric enrollment and passport issuance at embassy in Rome

Ghana’s embassy in Rome has launched a new system for online applications and printing of biometric passports, according to an announcement.

Ghanaians can now make appointments to enroll their biometrics at the embassy, which can then issue the passports. Biometric enrollment is being conducted by appointment only.

The issuance of biometric passports is a policy plank of the incumbent political party ahead of Ghana’s national elections, which are scheduled for December 7, 2020.

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