Union home minister P Chidambaram on Saturday handed over to villagers of Prothrapur in Andaman and Nicobar Islands the first lot of resident identity cards having their details in microchips, an initiative aimed at boosting maritime security.
The first card was given to a woman named Bhoolaxmi.
These smart cards are part of the Centre's ambitious National Population Register (NPR) scheme with approved cost of Rs 216.31 crore under which specific details of residents of coastal areas in nine maritime states and Union Territories who have attained the age of 18 years will be collected and issued a smart card.
Speaking on the occasion, Chidambaram said about 2.56 lakh cards, each with a 64 KB microprocessor chip, will be distributed in Andaman.
In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, besides the villages, all the towns will also be covered in the first phase itself.
The scheme will also cover Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Daman and Diu).
The demographic data collection of 1.2 crore people and the biometrics of 75 lakh people in 3,331 coastal villages under the coastal NPR project have been completed and 5 lakh smart cards have been produced till date.
The cards have been designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad with several physical security features like Guilloche patterns, hot stamped hologram and micro text.
The electronic security feature of the micro processor chip fitted in the card have been recommended by a Technical Committee, headed by the Director General, National Informatics Centre and several experts from academic institutions and industry.