Election Commission (EC) has launched distribution of much-awaited machine-readable smart national identity (NID) cards among 10 crore citizens, replacing the existing paper-laminated cards.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the distribution of the smart NID cards as the chief guest at a function at Osmani Memorial Hall in Dhaka on Sunday morning, reports BSS.
The premier formally opened the smart NID card distribution by handing over the smart NID card of President Abdul Hamid to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed.
Later, the CEC handed over the smart NID card to the prime minister. After that Sheikh Hasina distributed smart NID cards to members of the national cricket team including skipper and Brand Ambassador of smart NID cards Mashrafee Bin Mortuza and ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed was present at the function as the special guest, while Election Commission Secretariat Secretary Md Sirajul Islam delivered the welcome address.
World Bank Country Director Qimiao Fan spoke and Project Director of Identification System for Enhancing Accesses to Services Brigadier General Sultanuzzaman Md Saleh Uddin gave a short presentation on the smart NID cards.
Ministers, PM's advisers, parliament members, foreign diplomats, ex-CECs and election commissioners, civil society members, members of the national cricket team and high civil and military officials were present at the function.
Election Commissioner M Shah Newaz earlier told BSS that the EC would collect biometric details, impression of 10 fingers and picture of iris of the card holders during the distribution of smart cards.
For being machine readable the smart cards have additional safety measures against forgery.
The distribution of NID cards will begin in two city corporations in Dhaka and in now-defunct Dashiarchhara enclave in Fulbari upazila in Kurigram from tomorrow. Then smart cards would be distributed at upazila, municipality, union and ward levels in phases.
EC officials said the number of voters in the country is about 10 crore at present. A total of 8 crore 10 lakh 58 thousand and 698 citizens got laminated NID cards eight years ago for the first time. But some unscrupulous people are forging those cards. The machine-readable smart cards will prevent this forgery.
To maintain security of the smart cards, 25 international certifications and standards have been ensured. The microchips in smart cards will contain all information of a citizen.
The card holders will get 22 types of services, including banking, TIN, driving license and passport.
Following are the salient features of the smart NID cards:
Twenty security characteristics have been added to three tiers, while international standard and reliability of the smart NID cards have been ensured.
Five-tier 100 percent polycarbonate elements have been used and it would sustain at least 10 years.
The personal information has been showed through laser engraving which is not possible in general printers, and transparent hologram has been incorporated in it for more security.
All information of a person exist in the added chip, and biometrics and photos have been preserved in electronic format. Besides running of different apps would be possible through this chip.
A 10-digit random generated unique number has been introduced and chip, 2D barcode and machine readable zone (MRZ) has been kept for using information.
Data has been developed as per the compliance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) which is internationally acceptable.
EC officials said though the smart NID cards would 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.