Bhandari, 101, set to become first citizen to obtain digital national ID

Monday, November 19th, 2018 | | National

The government is all set to distribute digital national identity card, a replacement to existing paper citizenship, form Monday.

Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa is scheduled to hand over the first digital ID card to 101-year-old Bhagwati Bhandari, a resident of Phidim Municipality, Panchthar.

Chomendra Neupane, director of the National ID Management Centre, said the new ID card will have details of its owner, such as first name, family name, address, father’s name, mother’s name, a photo and finger prints, and a unique code.

The card will have multi applications, background security features and software security that could only be accessed using highly secure terminals.

“We have so far printed 2,900 cards for the citizens of Panchthar. 243 cards are ready for collection and their owners could pick them up from the District Administration Office,” Neupane said.

The data of 52,000 people were collected in Panchthar for the national ID card pilot project, which is being funded by the Asian Development Bank.

As part of the pilot project, the centre plans to issue digital ID cards to 117,000 people in Panchthar and the civil servants working in Singha Durbar.

At the initial phase, the centre will distribute the new ID cards to 10,000 people in Panchthar and 1,000 employees of Singha Durbar.

The second phase of ID card distribution will be carried out in 15 additional districts. To this end, Neupane said the Home Ministry has sought a budget of Rs 2 billion from the Finance Ministry.

In the second phase of the pilot project, the centre plans to distribute 3.5 million digital national ID cards in Jhapa and Sankhuwasabha districts of Province 1, Saptari and Mahottari districts of Province 2, Lalitpur, Rasuwa and Chitwan districts of Province 3, Tanahun and Syangja districts of Gandaki Province, Kapilvastu and Gulmi districts of Province 5, Salyan and Jumla districts of Karnali Province, and Kanchanpur and Achham districts of Sudurpaschim Province.

After completing the card distribution under the pilot project, a new office will oversee the works related to data collection, printing and distribution of the ID cards.

The government has already merged the centre to the Department of Civil Registration for the national ID card programme.

The government plans to distribute digital ID cards in 25 districts in the fiscal year 2019-20 and in 36 districts in the fiscal 2020-21.