It will eliminate multiple cards

The Civil Supplies Department will soon embark on incorporating biometric security features in all ration cards.

Since repeated drives against bogus cards have proved inadequate, the Department is pinning its hopes on systemic intervention. It would be later integrated with the Unique Identification Number (UID) database.

“During the recent house-to-house verifications, it was found that a lot of genuine cardholders were getting affected,” said K.Shanmugam, Principal Secretary to the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department. “There might still be a large number of bogus cards in circulation.”

A process which involves biometric collection of data and de-duplication will eliminate both multiple entries and multiple cards, said Mr.Shanmugam.

The Department plans to undertake the process along with the Census 2011. It has written to the Directorate of Census seeking approval to collaborate in the data collection process.

According to Mr.Shanmugam, both agencies require almost the same kind of data. “So collating efforts and going for combined enumeration makes sense. Once a formal approval is obtained, the State government will come out with a policy.”

K.Rajaraman, Commissioner, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department, said “The modalities such as cost sharing and the data sets that are required apart from the biometric profile will be decided soon. But the process will go along with Census.”