At the centre of the debate is the UIDAI’s process of using multiple registrars and enrolment agencies to collect individual data as well as its system of relying on ‘secondary information’ via existing identification documents. While Nilekani feels this is an effective method, NPR protagonists are pushing for a method of public scrutiny in which individual data is collected directly and put up before the public to weed out any fraud.
This many-layered screening process used in NPR is what, in fact, helped villagers in Gujarat’s border areas expose ‘strangers’ (from Pakistan) on the rolls when the data was put up for public scrutiny. This reinforced the RGI’s belief that the NPR process, despite being long and painstaking, is more foolproof. The one meeting point with Aadhar is the biometrics technology, which NPR has adopted. “We are fully governed by Aadhar standards for biometrics,” says RGI and census commissioner Dr C. Chandramouli. “Our objection is to the data collection by other registrars who have a different orientation from ours. From a security point of view, they are not acceptable...”