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New $1 Billion RIC Project Casts Doubts on Aadhaar

by Prasad Krishna last modified Apr 04, 2013 08:28 AM
The Indian Government is going ahead with a new project dubbed RIC that will effectively undermine the existing UIDAI – Unique Identification Authority of India project and will cost a whopping $1 billion.

This was published in AEG India on March 16, 2013. Sunil Abraham is quoted.

The National Population Register and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) are the two organizations which will capture the biometric details of the citizens and will develop the resident identity card (RIC) and create the unique identifier number (UID) popularly known as Aadhar number respectively.

Both the RIC and UID projects are designed to unify the distribution of social and welfare services to the citizens. Sunil Abraham, Executive Director of Centre for Internet and Society India, said that the ID number and the ID smartcard are both different and are not at all complementary as declared by the Indian Government previously.

The ID number and the ID smart card are two completely separate visions. They cannot be mixed up together to make some kind of salad which can be consumed partly, added Abraham.

He said that it was easy for the Indian government to proceed simultaneously with both the projects rather than cancelling the much criticized Aadhaar project.

Minister P. Karunakaran, on March 12 in the Lok Sabha, asked R.P.N. Singh, the Minister of State, to clarify the confusion over the proposed biometric identity card and the UID (Aadhaar number).  The government has planned to spend more than US$1 billion to issue the Indian citizens a resident identity card (RIC) which will also feature the Aadhaar number as well.

ASPI-CIS Partnership


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