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Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been instructed to cooperate with the Census office and accept the biometric data being collected for creating the National Population Register (NPR).
The instruction came after Home Minister P Chidambaram complained,in a letter to the Prime Minister last week,that work on preparing the NPR was being held up because of reluctance of the UIDAI to accept NPR data for de-duplication.
Chidambaram met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday along with Nilekani,Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to discuss the issue. At the meeting,Nilekani agreed to provide full cooperation to the NPR effort,sources said.
Later,Nilekani dropped in at Chidambarams office in North Block for a short and unscheduled meeting.
NPR is an effort of the Census office which functions under the Home Ministry to create a registry of all the usual residents of the country. The UIDAI,under the Planning Commission,is in the process of providing a unique identity number to all residents who ask for it. Both the processes require collection of biometric data and there is a large area of overlap between the two processes,that has been the reason for a turf war between the two.
The latest battle was sparked by Chidambarams letter to the Prime Minister,less than six months after a similar tussle between him and Nilekani had apparently been resolved. The matter came up for discussion during Thursdays Cabinet meeting after which Nilekani was asked to sort out the matter and work in tandem with the Home Ministry,sources said.
In his letter to the Prime Minister,Chidambaram said work on NPR had come almost to a standstill.
Despite directions from the government,the UIDAI is objecting to the conduct of the NPR camps in certain states and is also refusing to accept the biometric data of NPR for de-duplication and generation of Aadhaar (unique identity) numbers, Chidambaram said in the letter.
The reference was to the truce that had been arrived at in January after a similar face-off. Then UIDAI had been asked to go ahead with its work in 16 states comprising about 40 crore people. Biometric data of the rest of the about 60 crore people were to be collected through the NPR. The two sides were to exchange biometric information with each other to ensure de-duplication and the NPR data was to prevail in case of a discrepancy between the two.
2G: Order reserved on accused plea
A Delhi court on Thursday kept its order pending on a plea by an accused in the 2G spectrum case,Rajiv Agarwal,for obtaining specimen signatures of a CBI witness and Tata Teleservices Ltd official,Anand Dalal. Agarwal,a director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd,had alleged that the entries made in the visitors register maintained at the Department of Telecom office had been forged. Special CBI Judge O P Saini,who was scheduled to pass an order on the plea,said,The application is kept pending for appropriate stage as it involves appreciation of evidence produced in the case.