ID cards for coastal residents

16 September 2009

The 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai has expedited the Union governments move to create a National Population Register (NPR) for residents in coastal areas.
NPR entails issuing identity (smart) cards to citizens as one of the measures to strengthen security in coastal areas.  This NPR project will be implemented in 208 coastal villages in three coastal districts of the state by January 2010. The initial schedule for NPR was to roll it out along with house listing activity for general census of 2011 planned for April/May 2010. However, the Centre has since advanced this schedule, with a plan to complete the same by January next in wake of the terror attacks on Mumbai, said T K Anil Kumar, Director of Census Operations, Karnataka. NPR assumes importance for security reasons that are important for India, he added.


Chairing a meeting with officials here on Tuesday, Kumar said NPR is a move to collect basic data of all residents of villages along the coast, and those abutting the backwaters. We have identified 208 such villages in Karnataka, including 129 in Uttara Kannada, 68 in Udupi, and the rest in Mangalore taluk of Dakshina Kannada, he said. The smart card under NPR will have the photo and biometric details of individuals.
While Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, West Bengal , and Andhra Pradesh have already started the work on NPR, Kumar said, Karnataka and Maharashtra would put their operations on full stream from October . NPR will cover coastal villages, and coastal towns as per the definition laid down in the Census manual will be taken up later, he said. While all above 15-years will be covered under NPR, cards will be issued to only those above 18-years .
Government departments including police, fisheries, public instruction, revenue , coastal security police, and the Navy by virtue of powers vested in them, and manpower available, will have a pivotal role to discharge in preparation of NPR. This includes fieldwork for enumeration of households in villages, data gathering (biometrics) and taking photographs as a precursor to issuing the cards under NPR.


Deputy commissioner V Ponnuraj clarified that smart card to be issued under NPR is not a citizenship card, but a basic document to identify a person as a usual resident of a village. The data generated under NPR at some point in future could converge with efforts of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to generate a unique number for each citizen of the country and the data generated here will be shared with UIDAI for their purpose.
Kumar impressed on the officials that the task will not be easy and there will be lot of coordination issues to be sorted.

source times of india


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