i) Enrolling People into the database
MoU & Key Stakeholders: The Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Himachal Pradesh (HP) State Government and the UIDAI In May 2010 (though actual enrollment began much only between Jan-March 2011) is in line with the standard roles and responsibilities that the UIDAI has established with other state governments. Here the role of the State Government is to facilitate the enrollment process by identifying Registrars, providing logistics and liaison support to the staff and representatives of the UIDAI, etc. The role of the UIDAI is prescriptive; pertaining to conceptualizing the process of enrollment including evolving a funding mechanism for enrolment of residents into the UID system to delivering the Aadhaar number.
Principal Secretary, Planning has been designated as nodal agency and the Food and Civil Supplies Department as Registrar for the UIDAI in HP. In addition, the project is being monitored by the UID Implementation Committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary. There also a Joint Working Committee constituted (not sure if this the same as UID Implementation Committee) with Director, Food and Civil Supplies as Registrar of the JWG. Amitabh Awasthi, Additional Director General, (UIDAI), Chandigarh region, Man Singh, Additional Director, Food and Civil Supplies, Jugvir Singh Singha, Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations, S.R. Verma, Research Officer, Planning, Ajay Singh Chahal, Technical Director (NIC), S.S. Chaudhary, Joint Director, (IT), Anil Semwal, Manager (IT), Ambrish Shashi, Project Director (UIDAI), Tushar Vashisth, Applications Manager (UIDAI) and Sawant Kakkar, IEC Representative (UIDAI) would be the members of the JWG. The members will support the project, all process implementation and provide subject matter expertise on various processes to support process integration (enrolment, authentication, updation, logistics etc.,), identification of issues in implementation and appropriate suggestion for resolution and interfacing with other units/members in UIDAI to meet project goals.
The Registrar would overlook the enrollment of all residents above the age of 5 years (see later discussion on inclusion of all bonafide residents including Tibetan refugees) who are going to be issued a micro-ATM like card containing a 16-digit numeric code. The HP MoU does not carry a specific clause that allows Registrars to collect ‘any data’ as seen in the MoU of AP, but the stress from the beginning has been on linking the Aadhaar number with financial institutions for money transactions of any other service provider and a range of services and so there has been a call for details such as mobile numbers, bank accounts, etc (see section on enrollment process).
In December 2010 a set of Introducers were appointed by the State Government who would verify the proof of address and proof of identity of all those residents who do not possess any. The list of such Introducers is not known.
In January 2011 the Registrar had shortlisted several private companies to act as enrollment agencies - GnG, IL&FS, Wipro and I-Grand – to cover 12 districts (see list below) in HP. Further, the Hyderabad based biometrics solution company Bartronics has been employed for capturing biometric data in HP. In March 2011 financial bids from empanelled agencies was solicited for the task of capturing Know Your Resident (KYR) and biometrics information from each resident who turned up for enrollment in Zone 4 (districts Shimla, Kinnaur, Sirmaur and Solan). The target population as per 2001 census was identified at 17.5lakh.
Further, the plan was to establish enrollment centres (consisting of one or several enrollment stations) at a panchayat level with prior information to the residents through media sources. Each enrollment station would be equipped with a kit of two laptops, a finger print scanner, an iris scanner and a camera.
Enrollment Scale / Process:
For the purpose of enrolment, the State has been divided into four zones: 1) District Kangra and Chamba, 2) District Una, Hamirpur and Bilaspur, 3) District Mandi, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti and 4)District Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur and Kinnaur. Target Population of as per 2001 census was 70.29 lakh. Between Jan - March 2011 enrollments starting from Hamirpur in zone 2 were being carried out in all four zones of the state. The state has targeted completing capturing of biometric data and issuing of UID cards across all zones by May 2012. By the end of May 2011, 7.48 lakh (11% of the population) had been registered.
As per the Request for Quotation document Enrollment Stations would need to be operational at all panchayats in each district. So the UIDAI was looking at setting up ~850 enrollment stations in these districts operational for a period of 20 days. Of these over 100 enrollment centres are envisaged in Zone 4 of the state.
Aadhaar and NPR
HP seems to be one such state where the NPR data is being leveraged to generate the Aadhaar number.
(I am unable to find any information on what the actual process is. On the demand side, what is known is that the UIDAI data is being used to de-duplicate the NPR database. But it seems to me that in the first place there is some overlap between collection of NPR data and KYR and biometrics for Aadhaar)
Two events point to this. Firstly, HP Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal inaugurated both Census 2011 and the Unique Identify project on the same day, Jan 25th 2011 and spoke of the two having a common objective – formulating developmental plans. Further, one media report goes as far as linking the second phase of the Census 2011 that was proposed to be carried out in end February with the Aadhaar enrollments. This could be a reason why the actual Aadhaar enrollment seems to have begun only towards the beginning of March 2011, after the census enumerators had collected factual data on family members. Further, the TIN number provided by the Registrar General of India (RGI) as part of the Census 2011 exercise is being accepted as a proof of identity by an enrollee. The residents are advised to bring either voter card, Ration Card, PAN card, Driving License, Bank Account Pass book, LPG book, NREGA job card and a copy of the receipt of National Population Register as a proof of identity.
On the question of citizenship status of the enrolling resident, it seems like Aadhaar enrollment is being offered to all residents including Tibetan refugees in HP. In May 2010, a media source reported that the Dalai Lama was enrolled into the first phase of the 2011 census. “He also assured that all Tibetans in-exile would include their names in the census so that they can get their ensuing UID (Unique ID Card) that is at par with any authentic document of an individual.” The report also mentioned that the Tibetan population in-exile was being counted in the census of India 2011 for the first time and that the census of 2011 is regarded as the gateway for every citizen to obtain the proposed Unique ID card that the Central Government has proposed to launch. Another report in February 2011 stated that the Dalai Lama was enrolled in the second phase of the 2011 census as well. In April 2011 the Dalai Lama is reported to have provided his KYR and biometric data for generation Aadhaar number to the enrolling agency in Dharmshala.
Enabling demand - UIDA as authenticating device:The biometric details of Census 2011 are being synchronized with the UIDAI in order to have a common identification standard as the UID has an agreement to synchronise the data feeds of the NPR into its data base. The generic process flow for this has been outlined in a presentation on Aadhaar.
ii) Enabling Access to Services
a. Food and Civil Supplies (FCS)
In addition to de-duplicating the NPR database, the UIDAI database is also being planned to de-duplicate the survey data with the FCS department. To this end, information sought out from enrollees includes ‘information about their status on ration cards, PAN cards, LPG connection and bank accounts’. The objective is to eliminate duplication in delivery of services by the FCS and Consumer Affairs department.
Background: Pilferage in the PDS seems to be a serious concern for the government of HP. In an attempt to check huge losses incurred, the government, in March 2009, had planned to introduce e-ration cards and make it mandatory for all fair price shops to issue cash memos. It was further envisaged that an online system would enable a day to day monitoring of stocks of all essential commodities being distributed through PDS. At the time of mooting this idea, the chief minister also said that ‘a global positioning system (GPS) could also be adopted for the supplies being made from whole sale depots to the retail outlets all over the State besides ensuring timely delivery of the supplies at different destinations’. On the other hand, this system would facilitate easy transfer of cards from one station to another without the possibility of duplication of drawing benefits from two stations by the same person at any time. This would also help in checking bogus ration cards. Further, the government also planned to make the e-ration card multipurpose, not restricting it to just the PDS but also providing through it a range of governmental services.
This scheme seems to be part of a larger initiative that the Central government in a bid to check pilferage through the PDS mooted in mid 2007. This involved the disbursal of ‘food coupons’ to ration card holders, who could then redeem these coupons at ‘Kirana’ stores instead of only fair price ration shops. The Government would directly reimburse the 'kirana' store the extent of subsidy that is available under PDS. Further, the Center also initiated a pilot project in MP for providing e-ration cards to streamline PDS delivery. A computer-based automated ration card and public distribution management system would be set up under a pilot project which would connect the shopkeeper, the warehouse and the consumer through computers.
The functions attributed to the e-ration card (de- duplication and prevention of bogus cards, etc.) seem to be similar to what the UID envisages to achieve. Hence it would be important to understand what were the failures of the e-card system which made the FCA department search for another de-duplication mechanism?
To be updated:
The Aadhaar database in HP is also being planned to be used as an authentication for the NREGA and Social Security schemes in HP. Further, on the demand side Aadhaar is also being seen as a valid id for opening a bank account.