NEW DELHI: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) implementing the Aadhaar project may soon be the sole agency for enrolment of residents and collection of biometric data across the country, and Home Ministry's NPR project will not be part of it.
"At a recent meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary on the progress of the UIDAI project, along with ministries concerned including Communication and IT, it has been decided that there will be no further enrolments under the National Population Register (NPR) of the Home Ministry," a source said.
The source said, "the government is in the process of withdrawing the NPR project from enrolments mainly because of their slow progress on the job."
At present, both UIDAI and NPR are entrusted with the job of enroling residents and collection of their biometric details, which are used for generating a 12-digit Aadhaar number and issuing a National Multipurpose Identification Card (NMIC).
When UPA was in power, a Cabinet Committee on UIDAI had bifurcated the coverage of enrolments between the authority and the Registrar General of India under the NPR project.
It was also decided that the 12-digit unique identification number will be issued by UIDAI for the entire population and the NMICs for all residents will be issued under the NPR project using the UID generated by the authority.
At present, UIDAI has been given the job for 24 states/UTs for Aadhaar enrolments whereas the remaining 12 states/UTs are under the NPR project.
According to the UIDAI web portal, 94.22 crore Aadhaar numbers have already been issued by the project. The source further said, "Since the decision on the bifurcation of enrolment work was taken by the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI, now this proposal of withdrawing NPR may also go to the Union Cabinet for their perusal."
In February 2014, UIDAI was asked to cover Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand as enrolment didn't make much progress in these densely populated states.
The government wants to complete the enrolment process under the unique identification project at the earliest to use Aadhaar as a tool to provide subsidies and benefits under various social sector schemes directly.
Under the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme, the benefits like scholarships, pension and cooking gas subsidy are directly transferred to beneficiaries' banks accounts.
The government intends to use Aadhaar as a tool to authenticate the identity of people to weed out ghost beneficiaries and plug leakages in spending on various social sector schemes.
UIDAI has been asked by the government to complete the enrolment process of the entire population by the end of this fiscal or latest by June next year.