The Census Department is taking steps to speed up the recording of biometric details and demographic data of residents to generate Resident Identity Cards (RIC), as part of the National Population Register (NPR) project.

The details of 32 lakh persons in nine districts including Tiruchi, Pudukottai, and Cuddalore, have been recorded so far, since the recording process began in June last year.

In January – February, the work to record details was initiated in Perambalur, Ariyalur, Thiruvannamalai, Erode, Karur, Madurai and Ariyalur districts.

“We are trying to complete the recording before March next year, which was the deadline set by the Home Department,” said an official of the Census Department associated with the project.

The official cited lack of staff as a major obstacle to the process. “We have only 500 operators as against the required number of 2,400. This is because the online test being conducted by the authorised examiners of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI) to select operators is not available in Tamil. The Authority is now in the process of creating a test in the language. Once this is done, we will be able to expand operations to other districts ,” the official said.

The RIC will be a smart card with a chip in it, as ultimately, the Central government aims to integrate data from all other ID cards, including driving licences, ration cards, NREGA cards and passports into this.

The details in RIC are similar to those collected by the Department of Posts for the Aadhar card.

Biometric details include fingerprints, an iris scan as well as a photograph. The recording of data for Aadhar cards was stopped on February 6 this year, as a target of 20 crore cards had been achieved nationally.

An official at the Department of Posts official said, it was later decided that only states that had achieved 50 per cent coverage of Aadhar would continue the process. In Tamil Nadu, the Department of Posts had completed collected details from only 71,626 persons and 7,337 persons in Puducherry from July 20 last year.

The department was paid Rs. 16.70 and enrolment agents, Rs. 33.30 for every successful enrolment.

Those who have recorded data but not yet received their Aadhar cards can call: 1800-180-1947.

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Deepa H. RamakrishnanJune 28, 2012

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