Nandan Nilekani-headed Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has bitten the dust with the expenditure finance committee (EFC) overruling its objections and clearing the Union home ministry’s Resident Identity Card (RIC) for offline usage of applications in targeted social welfare schemes such as MNREGA.
In a meeting held on Thursday, the committee also cleared Rs 5,500 crore outlay for the RIC, thus removing all hurdles from the Registrar General of India’s way to launch the Union home ministry’s ambitious project to equip every usual resident of the country with a 64 kb micro-chip based card having biometrics features for security and authentication purposes.
The EFC’s decision comes in the wake of the view taken by a sub-committee headed by director general of National Informatics Centre (NIC) Dr B K Gairola that was given the task of examining if the proposed RIC, primarily meant to serve as a security tool, can also be used as a platform for multiple usages such as delivery of targeted services like MNREGA, public distribution system and health insurance (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna), other financial purposes and for election purposes.
Many government departments claimed that in the Indian scenario where internet network is still not trustworthy and is totally absent in several huge patches of the hinterland, offline platform with the help of handheld devices is a better bet to ensure good delivery results.
Sources said the RGI will soon start the process of tendering for the RIC that will have Aadhaar number printed on it and would start giving it to the residents from March.
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