National identity card project gathers speed

- Post Report

Sep 4, 2018-

The government is likely to entrust the Department of Civil Registration (DCR) the task of issuing National Identity Card (NIC), spokesperson of the department said on Monday.

DCR Spokesperson Khil Prasad Subedi said the department is “likely to take the lead as it has already established network across the country”.

This move puts in doubt the role of the National Identity Management Centre (NIMC). Established in 2011, under the aegis of Home Ministry to issue biometric smart card, the centre has not issue even one NIC so far.

The government plans to entrust the work to one department, a senior official said.

DCR Director General Rup Narayan Bhattarai said, “Talks to hand the task of NIC to one agency are going on currently.”

A panel comprising officials from the Ministry of General Administration, under which the DCR works, and Home Ministry will discuss the modalities to ensure a single agency delivers the NIC, he said.

“There is similarity in the tasks being helmed by the two government departments. This is why there is discussion to develop a common window,” Subedi said.

However, NIMC Executive Director Dipak Kafle said a separate entity within one of the two ministries is likely to be set up on the basis of recommendation of the panel led by the under secretaries of the two ministries.

“It is more about bringing the authorities together to distribute biometric National ID Card than one authority taking over the other,” said Kafle.

Despite the NIMC’ s failure to deliver till date, Kafle claimed its is set to launch, around middle of November, a pilot project where 110,000 people in Panchthar District and 7,000 civil staff in Singha Durbar will receive National ID Cards.

“The task of collecting an individual’s data and biometric prints is going on currently,” said Kafle.

After this, ID cards would be issued for citizens in Jhapa and Sankhuwasabha in Province 1; Saptari and Mahotari in Province 2; Lalitpur, Rasuwa and Chitwan in Province 3; Tanahu and Syangja in Gandaki Province; Kapilvastu and Gulmi in Province 5; Salyan and Jumla in Karnali Province and Kanchanpur and Acham in Province 7.

Around 3.5 million people from 15 districts would receive digital national identity cards. There would not be legal issue in distributing such cards given the budget for the current fiscal year includes the plan, said Kafle.

Article 51 of the Constitution pledges to develop an integrated national identity management information system and manage data of citizens, and link this system with services and facilities the state provides.

“We are preparing a separate Act to guide the process of developing biometric national identity cards,” said Kafle.

The Home Ministry has prepared the draft. It will forward it to the Ministry of Law before taking it to the Cabinet and eventually the parliament, he said.

The government agency aims to distribute the ID cards in 25 districts in the fiscal year 2019-20 and in 36 districts in the fiscal 2020-21.

The proposed ID will replace the existing citizenship card. It will have personal data of family name, given name, address, father’s name, mother’s name, photo and four fingerprints of both thumbs and two index fingers.

Published: 04-09-2018 07:36

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