The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Sunday inaugurated the distribution of much- awaited machine-readable smart national identity cards among 10 crore citizens, replacing the existing laminated ones.
The prime minister opened the process through giving biometric details, impression of 10 fingers and picture of her iris at a programme held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.
After the inaugural programme, the smart NID cars will first be handed over to the President, the prime minister and members of the national cricket team.
The distribution of NID cards will begin in two city corporations in Dhaka and in a remote area in Kurigram the following day. Then smart cards will be distributed at upazila, municipality, union and ward levels in phases over the next 13 months.
According to the Election Commission, the number of voters in the country is now about 10 crore. A total of 8,10,58,698 citizens got laminated NID cards eight years ago for the first time.
The machine-readable smart card will prevent its forgery. For being machine readable, the smart cards have additional safety measures against forgery. 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.
Though the smart NID cards will be given free of cost, the cardholder will have to pay a fixed amount of money if he or she goes to collect a new one after losing it twice. The distribution of the cards will start in the two city corporation areas of the capital on Monday.
The first smart NID cards people will get in exchange for their old cards will be free. People will have to go to smart card distribution centres with their old cards. The EC officials then will collect biometric details, impression of 10 fingers and picture of their iris before giving them their smart new cards.
The EC has already published advertisements in newspapers mentioning the names of smart card distribution centres in the capital.
People can get information about smart NID card distribution visiting www.nidw.gov.bd or contacting EC call centre dialing 105 with their mobile phones.
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