Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today launched distribution of smart national identity (NID) cards, asking the authorities to ensure security of the data to be collected from the people for the purpose of issuing the cards.
She gave her biometric details, impression of 10 fingers and picture of iris to open the process of issuing the machine-readable cards at a programme in Dhaka.
The government of Bangladesh has taken a project to distribute smart cards among 100 million citizens, replacing their existing laminated national ID.
The smart card was first issued in favour of President Md. Abdul Hamid. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad received it on behalf of the President from the Prime Minister. The CEC later on the day handed over the card to the President.
The CEC also handed over the smart NID to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who then handed over the smart NID cards to all the cricketers of Bangladesh ODI cricket team.
The Prime Minister describing security features of the card and said this card is more secure, which would facilitate diversified use.
She asked the Election Commission to ensure foolproof security of the data to be taken for the purpose of this card. “Please make sure that no one can misuse the data.”
To maintain security of the smart cards, 25 international certifications and standards have been ensured. The microchips in smart cards will contain all the information of a citizen. Encrypted data would be stored inside a chip in the cards.
The cardholders will get 22 types of services, including banking, TIN, driving license and passport.
Distribution the smart cards will begin in two city corporations in Dhaka and a remote area in Kurigram tomorrow, followed by upazila, municipality, union and ward levels in phases over the next 13 months.
The smart cards will be given free of cost and in exchange of the existing ones. In case of losing it twice, the cardholder will have to pay a fixed amount of money.
People will have to go to smart card distribution centres with their old cards. The EC officials will then collect biometric details, impression of 10 fingers and picture of their iris before giving them their new smart cards.
The EC has already published advertisements in newspapers mentioning the names of smart card distribution centres in the capital. Information about distribution could also be accessed through http://www.nidw.gov.bd/ or contacting EC call centre by dialing 105 with their mobile phones.
All to get smart NID cards
The Prime Minister said her government has decided to provide smart NID cards to all citizens of the country irrespective of their ages. “I think all citizens should have identity cards…we’ve decided in principle to provide that.”
She said the country’s citizens who are now 18 years of age and above to be provided with the smart NID cards. “But, we’re taking steps to provide the smart NID cards to those who are under 18 or not eligible for voting.”
She also mentioned that convicted criminals and physiologically-challenged citizens will be brought under this smart NID process.
After the providing of the smart NID cards to all citizens, Sheikh Hasina said, there will be a radical change in delivering various government services to the people. “The rate of fraudulence and cheating will also come down.”
She said no one will be able to escape punishment after committing any crime once this smart NID cards are provided to all.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad and World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh Qimiao Fan also spoke at the programme.