Multipurpose cards arrive in India

The Government of India (GoI) has started much awaited multi-purpose National Identity Card (MNIC) project in the country. The government has selected Narela area in north Delhi to distribute the National ID cards.

The registrar general and census commissioner, D K Sikri will launch the card delivery operation by handing over hundreds of cards to villagers of Narela in northwest Delhi on May 26, 2007. The government will distribute these smart cards to approximately 30 lakh people of 11 states. The National ID card will contain 16 personal details of an individual along with a unique identity number. Besides comprising name, sex, permanent and present residential addresses, marital status, place of birth, names of spouse (if ever married) and photograph, the card will also have 'finger biometrics' and 'visible identification mark' of an individual. These records would be kept as a part of the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC). The register would be continuously updated by linking it top the compulsory registration of births and deaths. Under this plan, citizens do not need to have separate ration card or driving license. The MNIC can also be used as identification in elections. The government will offer the MNIC in other regions, including Karimganj in Assam, Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, Kutch in Gujarat, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, Pithoragarh in Uttrakhand, Maharajganj in Uttar Pradesh, West Tripura in Tripura, Murshidabad in West Bengal, north district in Goa, Medak in Andhra Pradesh, Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu, Northwest district in Delhi and Puducherry district in Puducherry. The government has planned to cover entire population of the country by 2012.