Interview with Tarun Debnath, Chief Engineer, Rural Development Department, Agartala, Tripura
Duration: 00:42:59; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 116.962; Saturation: 0.008; Lightness: 0.387; Volume: 0.190; Cuts per Minute: 0.070; Words per Minute: 130.318
The Identity project emerged as a result of our dissatisfaction at the nature of the debate that was emerging on the area of digital governance in India.
Over the past three years we have conducted numerous field visits in seven Indian states.These visits include numerous video-conversations, some short and others very long, with a diverse number of those who were involved with this entire process of participating in the emergence of a digital ecosystem of governance. These are interviews with people being enrolled into the Aadhaar programme, with district-level Panchayat and other officials, with numerous State government bureaucrats, with private enrollment representatives, representatives of various governmental services, with operators and other members of this digital workforce. Conversations are often long, spontaneous and deliberately unstructured: and the focus is mainly on a vérité style using amateur video.
Some key issues that we shortlisted for detailed inquiry were issues of migrants, both domestic and across international borders, homelessness in cities, and the financially excluded. Each of these areas was discussed in considerable detail at major public consultations held in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore, in partnership with the CSDS, the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, and the Urban Research and Policy Programme Initiative of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. All videos of all presentations made at these events are also available here.
CSCS also has an extensive text archives of material on the field as a whole, available on http://eprints.cscsarchives.org
Interview with Tarun Debnath, Chief Engineer, Rural Development Department, the nodal office for Aadhaar enrolments in the state in December 2011. In this long interview, he speaks about the swift and eventful journey of Aadhaar enrolments in the state, making Tripura the state with the highest percentage of enrolments in the country late last year. He details the benefit of using Aadhaar over prior identification “cards”, the benefits of using Aadhaar in several sectors, the demography of the state divided between hill tribes and Bengalees in the plains and associated challenges of enrolments. Debnath also talks about the business correspondents and their possible link with Aadhaar, Aadhaar enrolment of the significant number of defence personal in the state, suppression of “Introducer” model in Tripura to prevent enrolment of non residents, and the desgination of Tripura as an”e-district” under the National e Governance Plan (NeGP),
Interviewer: I have been reading about the enrollments in Tripura, and wanted to get a sense of, first why this huge demand for the number and what are the specific challenges you faced under this role to get this very unique set of enrollments done in the state? If you could give me your comments on that.
Speaker: Okay. Regarding the demand that you have referred to that why the people are so enthustasitic for the UID number, in fact if you go into the election scenario of Tripura. Tripura is the first state which has covered 100% EPIC. If at all you know in each and every election we’re recording their presence at more than 90%. SO it's a tradition of Tripura. The people are also read to comply with the instruction of the government.
So whenever/wherever we have announced that a new identity namely Aadhaar is coming up in Tripura, without a great effort people enthusiastically tried to get their own Aadhaar numbers.
That is why in a short spell, we have already registered or enrolled more than 90% of the population of Tripura under the Aadhaar programme, although maybe a big percentage maybe rejected - their packets. Our sole intention is to exceed 90% with respect to Aadhaar generation excluding the rejected packets.
Where the people have come forward with so much enthusiasm, so there is no scope for the government to be lethargic. So that is why the rural development department which is the most reverse* department in the government of Tripura, it (Adhaar) was declared under the rural department and so all the aid machinery at state level, district level, block level, and the gram panchayat level machinery was mobilised and that is why we have been in a position to enrol more than 90% of the population of Tripura under the Aadhaar project
Now we are at the extreme fag end. We believe that by this month, our field work will be completed. That means our targeted population of 90% registration... we are in a position to achieve it.
Now our next course of action will be the Aadhaar application. Aadhaar itself is a number only. It has the purpose of identity and flawless identity. What I mean is that earlier also we had several identification systems - voter ID card, various government cards, et cetera, wherein the photograph is also pasted. But you know that in course of time photograph fade away and there will be no similarity between the person and his ID card photo.
Aadhaar will be exceptional in this sense that the biometrics is also incorporated here. That is why it is flawless. Now we are exploring the feasibility that where the Aadhaar number can be applied systematically. Now we have already identified the various sectors where Aadhaar can be effectively used.
Suppose MGNREGA wants. Now their work is going on and their payment is also made through the banks. But here there's a question mark whether the real beneficiary is getting the money or not.
It is our belief that if I am person A, who is getting the money. But the authenticity is not so well established but if Aadhaar is entangled with the payment, then it will be genuine that the genuine person has received the money.
That is why the government of Tripura has decided that the Aadhaar number will be incorporated in the MGNREGA registration so that the genuine person can get the payment.
Another sector where Aadhaar can be effectively used is PDS - Public Distribution System. Because there are several hoax cards in this. To wipe it out authenticity will be required and Aadhaar is the means by which the hoax cards, the fake cards can be weeded out. This is another sector which we have tentatively decided.
Now you know that in Tripura also there are Scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBC. There are certificates that are issued by the sub-divisional magistrate, basically they are under the revenue department but there are various departments, namely the OBC- other backward welfare department, SC welfare department, ST welfare department. So if we issue the instruction mandatory that whoever has the OBC card, ST/SC card, and their Adhaar card will be required, then the genuineness will be established that the real person has got the real card.
In this way, these sectors were identified that we should make it mandatory. Another is land selling and purchase. Now this is also hypothetical; if I claim that I have sold this land, I'm A, and I've sold it to B. A and B's real identities are not established. I am only claiming that I am A. so we have decided that we will implement Aadhaar in this sector also.
So, in this way we have identified 12 sectors.
Now ROR, Register of Residence. This is a vital document in support of the citizenship of the State also. Because whoever will be residing in this area permanently, his or her name should be incorporated in a register. This is called ROR.
These are maintained in urban as well as rural areas. We are also trying to incorporate the appropriate Aadhaar number against the name of the residents. So this is also to upgrade and update the register. Authenticity will be appropriately established. So this is one of the things we're thinking of.
Another sector for appropriate Aadhaar application will be the labour department. The labour department also there are several social schemes, society central schemes; on top of that labour is died during the work. So, government of Tripura as well as the government of India is giving some schemes for the social... for the help of the bereaved families. This way also we can incorporate the Aadhaar for the labour register. Another sector where this can be used, where the social schemes are there, suppose old age pension and the physically challenged persons' pension, in this way these are maintained by the social welfare and education department.
So their registers can also be updated using the Aadhaar. So in this way we are trying though we are in the initial stage. But so far regarding the Aadhaar application government of Tripura has declared Aadhaar as the legal POI and POA document. POI - Proof of Identity, and POA - Proof of Address.
Now for any government help you have to submit a POA and POI but if Aadhaar is submitted, that means it will serve both the purposes of POI and POA.
Tripura is the third state in India which has declared that Aadhaar is the legal alternative of the conventional POA and POI. So in this way we are processing.
In fact for Adhaar application related issues, we have submitted a proposal for 10.4 crores to UIDAI. Of this proposal, 50 lac is already issued in our favour. So now we're going to finalise the consultants because though this is looked after by the RA department, the RA department does not have personnel with IT background that is why the consultant advertisement is imperative.
So we have already finalised the (Request for Applications), request for occupation, that means in 7-10 days we will be in the position to publish it and while the consultant in various sectors will be engaged; the Aadhaar application committee will get some momentum and within the next year we shall be in position to do something with respect to the effective Adhaar application issue. This I have this much to talk about the Aadhaar Tripura project.
Interviewer: So this budget you have asked from the UIDAI?
Interviewer: Do these are very interesting development aspect possibilities of the Adhaar. I was wondering about the security question. Because one of things that we learn about or hear about Tripura is that the border security or within the state, there's been a history of tensions between the tribal- non-tribal community. Is Aadhaar or UID going to speak to any of those issues as well?
Speaker: Incidentally, I mean the government has not thought of this issue. Because Aadhaar is mainly identity related. So we are also combining the activities of Aadhaar mainly for the Identification. But here you have correctly pointed out that with respect to security also, it can be used. But we have not thought of this issue.
We have asked the opinions of various departments on how Adhaar can be effectively implemented in their day to day work. So, we have not has any information from the respective departments, home department also. That is why we are not interested in going ahead with this. Because they're under the rural department but what about who we use? If Adhaar has to be used in the security realm, then they are the appropriate department to highlight these things; their demands.
We haven't received any demand from them, so that is why we are not maintaining anything now.
Interviewer: But did you face any problems in getting enrolment done in rural areas where there are different kinds of tribal communities? Was there any challenge or resistance from that side?
Speaker: No. So far, since we have introduced the Aadhaar scheme in November (19th) it was started. Now it has been approximately more than 1 year. But from the tribal, interior areas, we have not at all received any resistance. In fact they are also very much aware that it be come to work for their other generation.
The Tripura, I don't know if you're aware, insurgency is contained to a great extent now. There has been an insurgency problem for the last decade. Then some resistant mood has been realised, but now it the beginning of... we're establishing harmony among the Bengali and the tribal is prevailing among the state.
If there's any problem it is put down to the level of 0 per cent, so there's no scope of resistance from the end of the militants. Because basically, tribal or Bengali whatever they may be, they are peaceful people in Tripura. But the intentions are coming from the sections of the extremists but now they are cornered to a great extent so that sort of scope is not there. During the enrollment of Aadhaar in the course of the last one year, we haven't had any resistance from any corner.
Interviewer: One other is Agartala is largely urban and largely Bengali dominated, the rest the rural areas have the tribals, and one of the histories has been that there's been less migration from these rural areas into the city.
Do you think with the introduction of Adhaar and access to the governmental services which you've laid down, you think their mobility will change? You think the patterns of migration might change?
Speaker: No... Actually what you have told that mainly the Bengalis are migrating from interior areas to Agartala, this is not correct
Because we're seeing the migration is there, no doubt, the living standards are uplifted in the rural areas also. Whoever can afford a house and such in Agartala are coming, irrespective of being Bengali or tribal. Because tribals are also coming. I have been seeing that more number of tribals is also coming to Agartala. Because it is a city and the state capital, so obviously the tribal as well as Bengali, everybody will have the intention to come and to reside in Agartala. Not migration.
Migration levels, we can't control. Because the Aadhaar application, will be applicable in the urban areas as well as the rural areas. Whatever may be the (nature of the person), it is to be ensured only that the real persons are being benefited. So that is why the Aadhaar is being incorporated.
Suppose in the MGNREGA mainly combining the rural areas. There is no scope if the person who belongs to the MGREGA was, if they migrate from rural area to Agartala, they'll be deprived of the work. So that's how you cannot expect migration.
With respect to the issuance of these OBC/SC/ST certificates, these are being issued across the state. Everywhere this facility will be available. This cannot be mingled with the other sides of the Aadhaar scheme.
Interviewer: Is there a work permit requirement in Tripura to do either governmental work or private work?
Speaker: No. No such work permit is required.
Interviewer: I also read about as you mentioned earlier, the BPL... the ration card issues that were there. I also read about certain scams in terms of the BPL numbers, the BPL identification not happening correctly.
Speaker: Yeah... it is the general rule, you know in India, it very much possible that each and everyone will try to encroach the limit, that if I belong to APL, I will also have the intention to have BPL also.
But the purging process has already started because the ration card is being renewed after a long time; 11 or 12 years perhaps. Now it is seen that a percentage of the BPL card holders really belong to the APL card holder and they're surrendering. But this percentage is meager.
But however meager it may be, if the Adhaar is entangled with the issue, then i mean the main thing what we can ensure is more than one number of the card, if anybody is having, that will be eliminated totally.
Because if the Aadhaar is entangled, Aadhaar is a unit number and if in my name there are two numbers of cards then Aadhaar will be able to identify the persons who have more than one. But APL/BPL cannot be ensured by Adhaar application because during the enrollment process, we haven't identified who is APL or BPL.
Moreover this is not a permanent marker; today who is BPL could be APL tomorrow. That is why it will not become customised, but ghost cards and duplication can be weeded out.
Interviewer: So in terms of enrollment, I understand the KYR + packet is coming to your department as the nodal registrar. So has the use of that data already been put in place?
Speaker: Yes. This has already been put in place with respect to the ROR updating. How we update that. So they have also incorporating the data from the KYR +.
In fact the data is stored in the IT department of Tripura, not in ID department. They are preserving and they are utilising this data on behalf of the ID department. Whenever the ID department asks for the data, the IT department takes the consent form the ID department send it to the other departments for utilisation.
Interviewer: Alankit Assignments is the only enrollment agency in the state. There's no other enrollment agency.
Speaker: No. from the government of Tripura, there is no other agency.
Interviewer: I'll try to visit some of the enrollment centres which are existing here...
Speaker: Yes, yes. You can go. But now it is mainly going on in the Agartala city, so you can go and see how the enrollment process is going on...
Interviewer: One more thing is, in terms of the MNREGA, I heard that there was something of linking it to the business correspondent model, so that wage payments can be made though the business correspondent and that the Aadhaar number will facilitate in terms of identification.
So what is the progress on that? Would you know?
Speaker: For the linking of Adhaar number with the business correspondents?
Interviewer: Yes and for the MNREGA wage payment.
Speaker: Actually it was the basic idea of the MGNREGA that payment should be made through the banks.
It was said that the adequate number of banks were not available in the rural areas mainly, wherein the beneficiaries are residing. Ultimately the idea was that the business correspondent model should be introduced. Now it is already introduced and all the payments through the Business correspondent model.
So now it is also identification because biometrically these are identified by the business correspondent. So instantly it is not mandatory that Aadhaar should be linked with the BC model because BC model is working independently. So now, after the real application of Aadhaar, where we should be able to link the Aadhaar number with the ROR, this will have a broader platform.
Gradually the BC models can be phased out and the banks can take over the position of this thing. Only then the identification has to be ensured. Identification has been established through the BC model also. That is why this is an instant demand that the Aadhaar should be linked with the BC model.
Interviewer: In terms of the enrollment of the vast paramilitary forces, BSF, and Mr. Sah was telling me there's Tripura State Rifles that enrollment is going to happen. In terms of the larger army group which is there...
Speaker: Orally we have taken up the matter with the home department, the DG. So the DG has informed us that there's no military group in Tripura, but 16 numbers of the BSF battalion, 4 numbers of the CRPF battalion exist. Apart from this thing about 18 numbers of Tripura State Rifles.
Approximately about 70% population belongs to the Tripura - the TSR people. Out of the TSR jawans, approx. 70% have already enrolled. Although we have started in their battalion for SR, but whenever they go home and if the Aadhaar work was going on they have availed the opportunity and got their enrollment completed.
On experimental basis, we deployed some machines in battalion no.1 though I understand the battalion exceeds 1000. So we have seen that approx. 300 numbers of enrolments has taken place because the jawans and their families have already enrolled themselves in their respective places of residence.
So now we are targeting the CRPF as well as the BSF personnel.
So Alankit Assignment limited is coordinating the matter with the police department and accordingly when ever their availability is there, and then they will start their work.
Interviewer: One more question is, on the Alankit Assignment website, I was just looking at the data which is there on completed enrollments in Tripura. In certain blocks, I think in Bishalpura and in Mohanpur they have said 'completed block' but the population enrolled is only 60-70%. So there’s a gap of say 20-30%. Would that gap be mainly army personnel?
Speaker: Actually what you have meant is neither Mohanpur nor Bishalnagar. What we have seen is in 40 blocks of Tripura, in 3 blocks where the enrollment is below 70%. But in other blocks, even in interior blocks also these are 80%.
Now scrutinising we have seen that in many urban areas, the percentage is exceeding 100%. That is migration.
People from rural areas have migrated to urban areas and accordingly the enrollment is more than the registered people of the urban areas. Apart from this, a good number of students are going to other states, mainly to south India, that is why in both rural and urban areas it is very tough to enroll 100%.
Moreover many people because of service (job) also, they are out of the state.
Inspite of this, if we achieve 90% of enrollment, then we can treat it as 100%.
Many of the aged people, 70-80 year olds, they’re here but are reluctant to come to the centre and enroll and their family members are also not interested because some of them are bedridden and carrying them to the enrollment centre would be problematic.
That is why, in this way if we exceed 90%, it will be equivalent to 100%. Because in the time of EPIC, it's an identity card also, they have achieved 100% only after an effort of 10-15 years. So if we can get 90% enrollment in the first stage, it is a great achievement.
Because the exercise of Aadhaar with so much labour it cannot be compared with any other exercise, even with census or election. Because with election only adults are exercising the franchise, even with voting identity it is only adults who are eligible.
But here from 0 to infinite years, whoever that may be, everybody has to come. Moreover the census, the volunteers are going door-to-door. But here we are not going door to door. We are only deploying the machinery at the gram panchayat level so that is why people are coming. In one year of we reached 90%, it can be treated as a great achievement.
And with respect to the percentage, among the Indian states, we are forerunner because we have been awarded an excellence award also.
That is why these are all inspiration, that yes we have enrolled more in the first stage and with respect to application also we should be the forerunner.
Interviewer: It is actually phenomenal. One more question, sensitive issues like the issues of illegal immigration from Bangladesh, is that a problem and is Aadhaar some way talking to that particular issue? Is there some kind of...?
Speaker: Yes. We have also received a paper from the UIDAI, that in the Hindu newspaper it was published. But in fact this is the first time we have heard, that's the problem.
You know that Tripura is almost surrounded by Bangladesh but our most precautions are taken with respect of POA and POI. Regarding the POI and POA, government of India... the UIDAI (procedure) is there, that if a gazetted officer can certify, this could also be treated as a valid POI.
But we have not adopted this practise yet. We know it. That Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh and immigration is there. That is why we only depend upon the conventional POI and POA which have been issued by the government.
In Tripura actually there's no scope. I'm not sure that whether they have directly referred to Tripura or not, but in Tripura we have not got it. Strict vigilance has been kept from the state nodal organisation with respect to the illegal migration from Bangladesh and to include there name in the Aadhaar. Many sensitive areas where this was perceived, we've taken more care. So I can tell that in Tripura at least no illegal immigrant has been incorporated in the Aadhaar.
I hadn't heard. This is the first time I heard from the UIDAI. No one has complained to us. Whenever we visited also, we've never seen. Moreover the POA/POI is preserved.
If it is renewed subsequently, then the illegal person has come in the way, they will be identified. So I don't believe that in Tripura this has happened.
Interviewer: What would be the prominent sensitive area for this kind....?
Speaker: The entire rural area can be sensitive. Because it has more than 800 kms of border area. Whereas it is connected to India by a narrow corridor, which may be 50 kms only. So the entire area is sensitive.
Even in Agartala city, the border is not too far; it's only 5 kms away. So I don't foresee it. In fact we have taken the precaution. we have understood that if we incorporate that clause that UIDAI has prescribed that a gazetted officer can also give the identification as POI and POA, then the forgery is very easy here.
If I declare myself to the notary and if I put my stamp, then who will challenge me? Initially it will serve the purpose, so that is why we have brushed this idea aside. We have only adopted the POA and POI which are strictly issued by the government.
Suppose the voter ID, SC/ST registration, school/college certificate - these kinds of things are adopted only. So there's hardly any scope for the illegal migrants get the Aadhaar enrollments. It is not possible in Tripura.
Interviewer: Also e-governance is very strong in Tripura. E-districts, the term that the national e-governance plan has designated for different parts of the country, I think Tripura is earliest state to completely designated as an e-district. So I think some information from that would be best sought out from the DIT, is it?
Speaker: Director of Department of Technology. Yes, they are all applications. E-applications drive is also going on. So that department who have gone to a great extent with Delhi governance issue, that we have excluded instantly from the Aadhaar application.
But subsequently they can also adopt the Aadhaar number for their own linkage, they can establish here. But Adhaar... suppose in the IT department, if e-procurement is going on... you know there's an e-procurement. We have one department which is procured in huge quantity of the construction materials. So up to last year, we had adopted conventional tendering systems but this year onwards we started the e-procurement system that means the entire tendering process is in the web. We have introduced this.
And in IT department with respect to the estimation, and the technical approval, these are also we had made it web based. The schedule of rate was also computerised and all the action, regarding the failing of the estimate as well as the acceptance these is made online only. This way each department is trying for the upliftment and computerisation.
Interviewer: Would also the Common Service Centres and those front Resident Service Centres in the villages et cetera look at Aadhaar at some point in terms of incorporating that into their services?
Speaker: No, that much awareness we cannot generate so fast. So in the course of time, it will also be taken care of.
Interviewer: And the NPR, the national population registrar is that happening here as well?
Speaker: Yes. In fact it was also decided that in the NPR also biometrics will be captured. So now it will be duplication. Because people come to the Aadhaar centre with great enthusiasm and we have already captured their biometric.
Now for the same purpose, again if the people are summoned to the centre, then I’m not sure what response will be available from the residents.
That idea was propagated to UIDAI also whether NPR can utilise the captured biometrics of Aadhaar. So in this regard meetings were also held but the NPR officials have informed us that they have not accepted the instructions from their authority. So whenever the decision is made there, only then the problem can be solved.
Interviewer: Because I think the NPR is more related to the idea of citizenship so that would probably look at the border areas more closely rather than being a number...
Speaker: The idea of Adhaar was optional. The basic idea. There is a problem area. Because if Aadhaar is optional, then its application will also be questionable because I cannot force anybody that they have to have the Aadhaar number.
That means the conventional system should also be allowed and in addition the Aadhaar system should also be allowed but we wanted clarification from the UIDAI. The UIDAI has clarified that the option to the state - if any state has opted Aadhaar it has to complete 100%.
This was entirely up to the state, whether they would adopt the Aadhaar or not. Anyway, it is fact of the situation. But then the question will be there, suppose among all the applications, the state based application we can approve. But if it is a mandatory quota based on the entire nation, then nation based application cannot be framed on the basis of the Aadhaar.
Anyway, it is a continual process. But it is a good thing, at least with respect to the identification it is a great thing. Otherwise anybody can challenge my identity. In Tripura, perhaps nobody will challenge and if they challenge also, it will be easier for us to resolve the issue.
But if I’m challenged in other state, if I produce the conventional documents, because photographs are not the basis at all. Whatever photograph I have had for the EPIC, now I cannot recognise the photograph if it is really mine. So that is why the biometric based authentication has a good base.
At least for identification also, this approach should be adopted.
Interviewer: So the budget that you asked from the UIDAI for the authentication, that would include installing devices, right?
Speaker: Yes, everything.
Interviewer: In terms of any large issues or challenges, which you may think are specific to Tripura in getting this enrollment done?
Speaker: No... (t least in this first phase) there was no resistance. In fact people were overenthusiastic. That is why suppose in a centre we have deployed 5 machines, we had calculated the ability of the operator cannot exceed 50. So in a centre, approx. 50 enrollments will be done. It is seen that each morning, 100s-1000s people have gathered. Even if I we request them that today it isn't possible, then they are resentful.
The problem we faced was due to overenthusiasm. They didn't want to miss. It's a good thing.
Even last year during the winter visited many centres in the rural areas. I have seen up to 8-9 pm, mothers with tender children were standing in queue in winter. When we requested that they go away and return the next day, they said, they didn't mind waiting for 3-4 hours more since they had already waited for 6-7 hours.
That sort of enthusiasm I have noticed. So resistance I can't say there was any untoward incident.
Interviewer: What has been the co operation form the local bodies, in rural areas the panchayats and in cities I think the municipal corporation?
Speaker: In fact without their assistance the work would not have been completed. Because the local bodies know their residents and with respect to the identification what you have identified, whether illegal persons are getting enrolled.
So they are important people who identify who is legal and who is illegal. Even they're also so strict. As per the UID norm it is possible to enroll from any centre anywhere in the country. But they didn't allow.
If applicants didn't belong to the local area, they didn't allow them. That is how strictly they are maintaining the sanctity of the Aadhaar.
Interviewer: Are there any cases where genuine residents don't have a POA or POI and come with an introducer letter from a gazetted officer and they've been turned down?
Speaker: That's what I was saying. This hasn't happened in any large number. There is scope where people who don’t have POI and POA they can enroll their names under Adhaar. But in first stage we haven't allowed that. Only those who have valid POI and POA can enroll in the first phase. Otherwise there will be permanent station which will look at it.
Post offices are declared as permanent stations and in major POs one machine will be deployed to address the leftover cases. Instantly we're not facing that problem.
You are basically from Andhra Pradesh?
Interviewer: No Karnataka, Bangalore. So this is a project which is doing a sort of academic research on the UID across the states in terms of implementation as well as what kind of transformational changes it can bring.
So we're trying to track in each state what is the existing structure of different departments and nature of policies and social service schemes, et cetera and what change can the UID bring in terms of the development questions.
Speaker: Have you visited any other states or ours is the first state you're visiting?
Interviewer: In the north east, this is the first state.
Interviewer: We've been to AP.
Speaker: What about their enrollment? What percent have they enrolled?
Interviewer: I think as per the UID portal, Tripura is one of the... in terms of completion of population is one of the highest.
Speaker: What is their percentage in AP?
Interviewer: It is about 60-70%
Speaker: That is a great achievement...
Interviewer: Yes, because of the size of the state. Even in Himachal Pradesh also. It's lower there, but their support from the panchayat is also quite good. But then I think there are some problems with the terrains. Some of the terrains are completely difficult to go there. Landslides and all so it hard for people. But they are opening up now. So that's how it's been.
Delhi also. It is very unique in the sense, there are diverse enrollment agencies and lots of people are involved. But over all definitely in the north east...
Speaker: What are the other states in the north east they have ventured?
Interviewer: Meghalaya has started, Mizoram has started. Assam I don't think has started yet, there's some problem, I don't know. Nagaland also I don't know. Manipur has started.
Speaker: Sikkim has also started.
Interviewer: Yes, Sikkim has also started. There was a joint working group which was set up for the UID is it?
Speaker: Yes. There's an Aadhaar implementation committee. This is headed by the chief secretary. So once in month we meet. As such the enrollment part is more or less over, now our focus is on the application. So when the consultants will be identified and engaged, the real work in the field of application will start.
Interviewer: AP has a BC model...
Speaker: They have already rigged the Aadhaar with the...
Interviewer: They have plans to. No state has the authentication part of it. Offline use of the card is being seen. In the sense, in HP there are e-suvidha centres like Common Service Centres.
Speaker: Offline use, then how the authentication part will be established?
Interviewer: The biometric part has not been established.
Speaker: Of course it will work like the conventional system. This will not serve the purpose. I mean this is not the aim of the Aadhaar project also. The aim is to establish authenticity.
Interviewer: That's something which has not started. It will be great to see...
Speaker: In Karnataka somebody was saying, when I attended the meeting, they had already initiated the process.
Speaker: In Karnataka.
Interviewer: In Karnataka at here’s a talk of it being included in the LPG system. But right now I don't think it's there. There was a proposal.
Speaker: I don't know how they will implement it. Railways were also trying for the Aadhaar. But until the entire nation is covered, how will the national services will be ensured.
State based services can be ensued. Since 90% of the population is already on it.
Anyway this is a young idea. Where will it go and where will it end, instantly nobody can tell. But initiative taken is appreciable.
Interviewer: Thank you very much. That was very useful.