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Unique Identification, Smart Cards distribution from month-end

Rajesh B. Nair

Puducherry government plans to start the project on a pilot basis at Kalapet

PUDUCHERRY: The Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department will start issuing Unique Identification (UID) and Smart Cards in the Union Territory by the end of this month.

The department, which has been appointed the registrar for distribution of UID cards by the Unique Identification Authority of India, has also decided to club the process of issuance of Smart Cards replacing ration cards along with the work for UID cards.

The department had selected Madras Security Printers as system integrator to create a database and gather personal information, including photographs of family members and their fingerprints. The agency would also provide UID and Smart Cards and supply point of device to be maintained in the ration shops for reading the Smart Cards.

Director of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs P. Priytarshny told The Hindu that the agency would start enrolment of individuals and family members for both the projects on a pilot basis by the end of this month. In the subsequent months, special camps would be held in villages to capture the photographs and fingerprints, she said.

The government plans to start the project on a pilot basis at Kalapet village, it was learnt reliably. The UID card, a national project of the Union government, was aimed at linking a person's passport number, driving licence, PAN card, electoral identity card, bank account and ration card with the central data bank maintained by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIAI), she said. For availing themselves of UID cards, people should have address and identification proof. Persons without any proof can get the card after being introduced by a valid person residing in the locality, she said. The UIAI would provide Rs.50 per enrolment to the department, she said.

The reason for clubbing the Smart Card project with the UID card was to avoid duplication of work as the information needed for both is almost similar.

For replacing ration cards with Smart Cards, the department would incur an expenditure of Rs. 13.46 crore. Once the Smart Cards are provided, malpractices in distribution of essential services through the public distribution outlets could be prevented to a large-scale, Ms. Priytarshny said.

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