Biometric details of Census 2011 to be synchronised with UIDAI

Written by Vikas Dhoot | Surabhi Agarwal | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 28 2010, 04:55am hrs
Census 2011, for which canvassing and house-listing will begin this April, will capture the biometric details (face, iris and ten finger prints) of every citizen over the age of 15, so that they can also be assigned unique IDs by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The home ministry and the Registrar General of India (RGI) have agreed to synchronise the details that are to be captured in the National Population Registrar (NPR) being created with the upcoming Census with the UIDAIs biometric standards that were unveiled recently.

In line with the recommendations of the Biometric Committee under the UIDAI, the NPR, will have details of face, iris and ten fingerprints as a necessary requirement for registration of residents. This is in order to have a common identification standard as the UID has an agreement to synchronise the data feeds of the NPR into its data base.

Nandan Nilekani, chairman of UIDAI told FE that the NPR and the UIDAI database would have common standards for biometrics. The UIDAI will start issuing the first set of numbers by February next year. The NPR is one of the ways which we are tapping to build our data base. So, for that to happen, we need to have common identification standards, Nilekani told FE. The Biometric Committee under the UIDAI which was chaired by BK Gairola, director general of National Informatics Centre, unveiled its report late last week where it has mandated the details of face, iris scan and ten finger prints as essentials for the awarding the unique IDs.

According to the ministry of home affairs, the NPR schedule would be canvassed during the house-listing and housing census during April-September 2010. It will be followed by the process for taking photographs and finger prints for all those aged 15 years or above.

Nilekani added that apart from the NPR, other government schemes, like the NREGA, are strong partners and the UIDAI will also tap the income tax filings records, passport data among others to build its data base. He added that apart from the banks, the UIDAI will also tie up with the insurance companies to build their database through the insurance agents. The UIDAI targets to issue 600 million identification numbers over the next five-years.

While the technology centre for the project will be set up in Bangalore, Nilekani said that eight regional offices will also be soon set up. Each centre will take care of two-three states each, he said. Meanwhile, the authority has already floated tenders for supply, installation and commissioning of biometric and fingerprinting devices along with that for consultants which will assist in setting up the Central Data ID repository and in selecting Managed Service Providers (MSP) for the project.