NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee is meeting on Friday to discuss the Unique ID project row. Sources have indicated that a compromise has been reached. Both the Nandan Nilekani-led Unique ID Authority of India and the Registrar General of India will be carrying out parallel exercises to collect biometric data, they say.
While the UIDAI will do it in 13 states, the Registrar General of India will collect data in coastal areas and areas where UIDAI has no presence. Sources say that the two bodies will share some data. The Cabinet Committee will on Friday decide what data the Registrar General must share with the UIDAI.
The Cabinet committee will also work out other modalities like cost and deadlines. The UIDAI project which is called Aadhaar was initially authorized to cover only 20 crore people. It will achieve this target by March 31. It is now authorized to continue beyond March and cover the entire population. The Home Minister had in November 2010 written to Planning Commission requesting the security of data collected by Adhaar.
The Cabinet Committee is also likely take a final decision on the proposal to give statutory powers to the Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India. These powers will help issue national identity cards to the entire population instead of the mandated 20 crore.
The collection of biometric data for the UIDs sparked a row with both the Home Ministry's National Population Register and the UIDAI authorised to collect data. After a high-level meeting on Wednesday, Pranab Mukherjee reportedly suggested the idea of finding a way to split the task.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has thrown his weight behind the Nilekani's UIDAI.