Government starts printing National Identity Card

KATHMANDU: The government has started printing national identity cards for distribution.

Home Secretary Prem Rai initiated printing of the cards at the National Identity Card Processing Centre in Singha Durbar today.

Information Officer at the National Identity Card Management Centre, Shivaraj Joshi said that the Home Secretary pressed a button and printed 50 identity cards in the first stage. The Centre started printing the national identity cards for distribution to the government employees in Panchthar and Singha Durbar in the first phase.

According to Joshi, the Centre will print the national identity cards of 20,000 employees of Panchthar and 1,000 employees in Singha Durbar. The personal information and biometric details were collected for the national identity cards from these places in the first phase.

Similarly, the Centre also plans to issue the cards to 110,000 citizens in Panchthar and 7,000 employees in Singha Durbar in the first phase. It is said the personal and biometric details of all individuals has not been collected yet; so, only 21,000 identity cards would be printed in the first round and the remaining thereafter.

Joshi said all the national identity cards required for Panchthar district would be printed and distributed from November 16 onwards.

Centre’s computer engineer Gyaneshwar Bohara said the national identity card includes personal and biometric information. It includes the name of the person, address, the name of parents and grandfather, date of birth, religion, caste, profession and educational qualification. The biometric details in the card include the photo, finger print and signature of the person.

Bohara said that the Centre is printing the national identity cards with an American printing machine, ‘Data Card Company’ at the rate of 500 units per hour. The printing machine was made available by IDEMIA Identity and Security Company for around Rs 40 million through international bidding process.

The national identity card is a machine-readable biometric card. The electronic micro-chip is readable only by the authorised government body.

The government aims to replace the citizenship card with the national identity card. Although the Centre was set up in 2067 BS, it started works on the national identity cards only in 2073 BS. The government plans to distribute the national identity cards in 15 more districts this year.