From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : MPNIC
Mains level : Need for MPNIC
- India could have a single multi-purpose unique card that will serve as an identity card and double up as a voter card, PAN and even a passport said Union Home Minister.
Multipurpose National ID Card (MPNIC)
- MPNIC was first suggested by a 2001 report on “Reforming the National Security System” by an empowered Group of Ministers during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
- The GOM report itself was a response to the K Subrahmanyam-led Kargil Review Committee, which was instituted in the wake of the Kargil conflict of 1999.
- The GOM included LK Advani, (MHA), George Fernandes (Minister of Defence), Jaswant Singh (MEA), and Yashwant Sinha (Minister of Finance) recommended MPNIC in relation to the growing threat from illegal migration.
Are we seeing the reprise of the MPNIC?
- It is difficult to surmise if MPNIC exactly is being reprised.
- Although there is no such scheme in the offing, it was possible to get rid of excess processes and cards such as the Aadhaar card, the voter card, the identity card etc.
- But the government would want to link various databases if it intends to create a card that works as a single point of access to various accounts held by an individual.
- Moreover, technology has taken a giant leap since the MPNIC was first proposed in 2001.
- A good example of that is the existence of the Aadhaar database, which now has almost all residents of India on it.
National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
- The government is expected to launch the NATGRID by the start of 2020.
- The Natgrid would reportedly be used by 10 agencies such as Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), CBI, and ED among others.
- It aims to scour data real-time from 21 databases such as airline travel, credit card transactions etc with the aim to track and prevent terror and illegal immigration activities.
- The existence of the Natgrid would obviate the original need of MPNIC – that of tracking terror suspects and illegal immigrants.