UID-home ministry dispute in PM's court
The Planning Commission has brushed aside concerns of the home ministry that enrolment of residents by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will be an "internal security" risk terming it "unrealistic" and has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take a final call.delhi Updated: Nov 24, 2011 21:40 IST
The Planning Commission has brushed aside concerns of the home ministry that enrolment of residents by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will be an "internal security" risk terming it "unrealistic" and has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take a final call.
The plan panel has sent a detailed note to the Prime Minister's Office on why UIDAI is important for India because of its linkage with delivery of developmental schemes unlike home ministry's National Population Register (NPR) aimed at providing identity cards to residents.
In an over 100 page note, the panel had also said that Nandan Nilekani headed UIDAI enrolment process was inclusive and aims at bringing every resident under the unique identification or Aadhaar number regime.
"All residents may not get enrolled for Aadhaar if the National Population Register protocol is followed," a senior plan panel functionary said.
The NPR protocol stipulates receiving objections of those seeking enrolment and verification by local revenue department official. "Persons aggrieved by such order have a right of appeal to the Tehsildar and then to the District Collector," says the website of Census commissioner. Once this process is over, the lists will be placed in the Gram Sabha in villages and the Ward Committee in towns.
UIDAI adopts easier approach of issuing Aadhaar numbers to those who have any of the listed documents to prove identity or is introduced by a person already having an Aadhaar number.
Home minister P Chidambaram, who has also sent his comments on plan panel's note to the PMO earlier this month, had described the UIDAI process as internal security threat as it does not follow rigid enrolment protocol prescribed under the Citizens Act of 1955.
Plan panel deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia do not agree with the contention and has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to suggest changes in the law to provide statutory backing to UIDAI" enrolment process.
PM Singh had reportedly asked Ahluwalia and Chidambaram to have informal talks with each other on their differences over future of UIDAI.
The home ministry wants that after March 2012 only NPR should be allowed to enroll residents for an Aadhaar number and UIDAI should act as its backend office. Ahluwalia, however, wants both the organsiations to enroll in close coordination with each other.
The plan panel officials say the issue will be sorted out by the PM before the Union Cabinet takes a final call.