Panel looking into converging ministry, UIDAI data: Nilekani

The government has formed a group to look into the matter of converging the national population register and the 'Aadhaar' programme which seeks to provide identification for the over one billion Indian population, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani said in Bangalore on Friday.

"There is a group which has been formed to look into how to converge the two programmes," Nilekani said at a press conference. Pressed for details, he said that is a matter to be decided by the union cabinet.

"How to bring synergy between the two programmes is a matter before the cabinet. When the cabinet meets, the matter will be decided and we will adhere to that," said Nilekani.

 His remarks were undoubtedly prompted by widespread reports of a turf war between P Chidambaram's home ministry and the UIDAI, with Chidambaram writing to the prime minister for clarity on who will collect citizens' biometric data - the Registrar-General of India (RGI) under his ministry or the UIDAI, which comes under the Planning Commission (See: Turf war between UIDAI, home ministry intensifie).

Currently there seems to be considerable duplication between the two, as the RGI collects its regular census reports to compile its national population register, while the UIDAI uses its own methods to collect similar data.

The home secretary too wrote to the prime minister's secretary saying the data collected by the UIDAI was not reliable as anyone could get themselves registered under any name with any address.