Economy

Maharashtra trails AP in unique identity project enrolment

| Updated on: Nov 19, 2011

Maharashtra, the first State in the country to launch the Unique Identity project, trails behind Andhra Pradesh in terms of enrolment.

The Maharashtra Government had plans to cover at least 70 per cent of the population by June 2011, but this has fallen short due to several factors including lack of trained manpower to capture the biometric details of applicants and attrition among staff.

The UID project was launched with much fanfare by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in September 2010, in the Nandurbar district of North Maharashtra.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), along with the Maharashtra Government, has only enrolled about 23 per cent of residents in the State, while Andhra Pradesh's score is about 50 per cent.

In absolute terms, about 2.3 crore residents in Maharashtra have enrolled while in Andhra Pradesh 4 crore have enrolled. Karnataka is third with about one crore enrolments.

A senior official of UIDAI told Business Line that although Maharashtra had the first mover advantage, the State Government did not put its might behind the task. UIDAI also appointed a number of banks and financial institutions such as LIC as registrars, who could enrol residents for UID, but this did not get the expected response in Maharashtra, though the system was more effective in Andhra Pradesh.

“The enrolment agencies, mostly consisting of software companies, have also been facing problems due to lack of trained manpower. It takes time for an operator stationed at an enrolment centre, to acclimatise with the process of capturing biometrics of a person and uploading that on to a server. The operators themselves have been jumping from one company to another due to offers of higher salaries,” the official said.

A senior manager with a software company doing the enrolments for UIDAI further points out, that there were time delays in getting the project rolling.

The Maharashtra Government, for instance, took about five months to come up with an enrolment tender, while Andhra Pradesh floated the tender in a month's time.

> rahulw@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 19, 2011

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