Setting the record straight: The home ministry is not against UID
Samar Halarnkar’s article Empire strikes back (Maha Bharat, January 19) is full of inaccuracies and unwarranted observations.india Updated: Jan 20, 2012 23:01 IST
Samar Halarnkar’s article Empire strikes back (Maha Bharat, January 19) is full of inaccuracies and unwarranted observations. The averment that “It’s nonsense to expect the government machinery of old India, unfamiliar with efficiency and speed, to take over what is a path-breaking, hard to implement initiative” strongly reflects the bias of the writer. Morever, the ministry has never opposed the Universal Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project. It has only raised objections on the manner in which the data is being collected by multiple registrars and its impact on national security.
The contention that people will have to go back to the place where they were registered under the National Population Registry (NPR) for any authentication is also wrong. The NPR, when completed, would have service centres at sub-district and sub-town levels to cater to the needs of migrant populations.
The writer’s statement that “the NPR’s primitive exercise, apart from being a stark violation of privacy…” is wrong. The NPR is being created under a statute — the Citizenship Act, 1955, which was amended in 2003. The Act mandates the registration of all citizens and issues identity cards to them. The government has decided to create the NPR as the first step towards the creation of a National Register of Indian citizens.
The bias of the writer surfaces when he alleges that the home minister is the strongest opponent of the UIDAI. The interest of the ministry is to strengthen the UIDAI by time-bound and complete coverage of the country and to ensure that the data collected is secure.
The matter now rests with the Cabinet and the ministry of home affairs would be fully bound by its decision.
Dr C Chandramouli, Registrar General & Census Commissioner, ministry of home affairs