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NREGS may tap into UID biometric data,help collect same

The ministry is likely to hold a meeting with officials of the five states this month to assess the modalities required to carry out this task.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
October 12, 2011 1:31:36 am

At a time when the government is seized of the matter of duplication of biometric data collection for the UID and NPR (National Population Register) projects,and the costs involved therein,the Rural Development Ministry may pitch in with data collection.

In the states of West Bengal,Tripura,Jharkhand,Bihar and Assam,it has decided to collect biometric information of workers involved in its National Rural Job Guarantee Scheme (NREGS),to use the same for UID. A decision was taken in this regard at a recent meeting between UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) chairman Nandan Nilekani and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh.

The ministry is likely to hold a meeting with officials of the five states this month to assess the modalities required to carry out this task.

The idea was first conceived over two years ago in 2009 when then rural development minister C P Joshi reached out to Nilekani to tap the potential benefits of unique identity numbers to minimise misappropriation in NREGS. The UIDAI and the ministry had,in fact,inked an MoU to collaborate in issuing bimoteric job cards to NREGS workers.

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However,the collaboration did not pick momentum due to lack of coordination. The ministry,which is keen to resolve the issue of delayed wage payments,is now trying to evolve a biometric authentication-based system. The Aadhar-compliant bimoetric data thus collected can be used by the UIDAI to generate Aadhar numbers as well.

As per this year’s NREGS database,while wages are being disbursed to little under 40 lakh bank accounts in the five states,over three crore job cards have been issued there under the scheme.

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