The database of the National Population Register (NPR) currently in the making will not only include your photograph and fingerprints but an image of your iris as well.
The iris is the coloured part of the eye around the pupil. Like fingerprints, each person’s iris is unique.
A committee of secretaries has okayed the collecting of iris images of our billion-plus population for the NPR, and the Nandan Nilekani-led plan to give every Indian a unique identity number. “The committee has approved expanding the scope of biometric information to be collected. We shall be taking iris scans too,” a senior government official said.
Nilekani had long argued that iris scans were required for proper biometric identification, but a section of the bureaucracy initially insisted photographs and fingerprints were enough.
The first phase requiring enumerators to record details of residents for the NPR started this month. When this ends in September, the next phase — the collection of photographs, fingerprints and iris images at special camps — will begin around November.