Home Ministry starts printing national ID

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu
In second phase, 3.5 million people from 15 districts to receive electronic ID cards

Nov 2, 2018-Ten years since its inception, the National ID Management Center (NIDMC) under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs has finally started printing digital identity cards.

Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai inaugurated the printing of the identity card from the personalisation centre of the NIMC at Ministry of Home Affairs at an event held here on Thursday.

The pilot project funded by Asian Development Bank initially aims to distribute 117,000 electronic ID cards in Panchthar district and civil servants serving at the Singha Durbar.

The new electronic card will have biometric data of each eligible Nepali citizen providing unique ID number. 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.  

According to the centre, the biometric smart card will have multi applications and can be read with highly secure terminals. The smart card will have background security features as well as software security.  

NIMC Director Chomendra Neupane said, data collection in Panchthar and Singha Durbar has begun. Initially 20,000 in Panchthar and 1,000 national identity cards in Singha Durbar will be distributed from mid-November. In total, 110,000 cards will be distributed in Panchthar and 7,000 in Singha Durbar.

After completing the pilot project, the centre will begin the second phase under which ID card distribution will be carried in 15 additional districts.

The Home Ministry has already sent a proposal to the Finance Ministry seeking budget up to Rs2 billion to complete the printing and distribution in 15 districts.

According to the NIDMC, digital ID cards will be issued for citizens in Jhapa and Sankhuwasabha in Province 1; Saptari and Mahottari 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 Achham in Province 7.

The Cabinet has received a dedicated National Identity Card Management Act for its approval. It is similar to the Citizenship Act that will provide guidelines on obtaining new electronic cards.

Officials are not sure whether to charge fees from ID bearers after issuing the electronic ID card. “Options are open. It is up to the Cabinet, and it can impose minimum free or can waive it,” said Neupane.

The government has decided to merge NIMC with the Department of Civil Registration (DCR). The DCR does similar work so it was decided to merge the two entities. In the second phase, around 3.5 million people from 15 districts would receive digital national identity cards.

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.

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.

Published: 02-11-2018 08:23

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