MP Academy publishes paper on single-card system

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Bhopal, Aug 19 (UNI) The Centre for Good Governance, a wing of the city-based RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration and Management, has published an approach paper envisaging single cards, with unique identification numbers, to cover all government programmes and schemes thereby replacing the existing multi-card system.

According to the paper titled 'Single Card - Discovering Freedom from Vice of Bureaucracy', the common man's dream of having one card for all schemes could be translated into reality using the electoral photo identity card commonly known as EPIC as proof of identity and utilising this card's unique number, a release said today.

''Once this concept takes shape, there will only be one number for an individual's ration card, bank account, passport, driving license, Permanent Account Number card, caste certificate, domestic certificate, job card under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, EPIC etc,'' said senior Indian Administrative Service officer L S Baghel who attempted the paper.

In the present dispensation, every card carries a photo, a number and other information as proof of entitlement to the scheme concerned. In the proposed scheme, the EPIC would be used as proof of identity and the card would display the names of the schemes and programmes the cardholder is entitled to.

According to an Election Commission of India (ECI) directive, the EPIC number is for life. The paper suggested use of information technology to make the scheme a success. All the information would be on the Internet and the proposed system would be more responsive, transparent and free from bureaucratic hurdles.

The paper suggested that the single card would be a computer-generated authenticated document and would be available from the authorised district and block offices.

''This paper has been published to give base material for discussion. It is also on the Academy web site,'' said Academy Director-General and Centre Chairperson Mala Shrivastava.

The paper propounded that the proposal would lead to creation of a citizen database. The basic database for the group of zero plus to six years and six to 18 years is already available with departments of Woman and Child Development and School Education respectively.

This database, when correlated with the database of the 18-plus age-group available with ECI, would help in developing the citizen database. Eventual expansion of IT facility to village level would make it possible to provide the single card in the form of a smart card with chip containing the entire database of the cardholder.

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