Another failure of Election Commission
Zarif Mahmud: The voter list with pictures was made almost a decade ago. So far, the Election Commission (EC) has not updated the information of the citizens. Despite spending crores of rupees in this sector, 25 percent voters have not yet received their identity cards. There are inconsistencies in the identity cards of many of those who have received. But when it comes to correcting, you have to suffer. Although NID has announced amendments online, it is not working all the time. There is no campaign in this regard.
The smartcard project director presented such information at the recent monthly coordination meeting of the Election Commission (EC). It was informed that the EC has already distributed high quality national identity cards (smart cards) to 75% of the voters. Work is underway to distribute the remaining cards. At the meeting, the officials also identified the problem of ‘Data Not Found’ as a major obstacle in the distribution of smart cards.
In 2006, the EC started issuing national identity cards to ordinary voters. The EC then undertook the task of issuing smart cards to 90 million citizens under the ‘Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA)’ project in 2011 with the support of the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In January 2015, an agreement was signed with Abarthur Technologies (OT) for the production and distribution of smart cards. The project was supposed to expire in June 2016.
After handing over the smart cards to the President and the Prime Minister, the distribution among the general voters started from October 3, 2016. But the French company could not issue the card on time even after several extensions. Therefore, the commission has not renewed the contract with the company. At present the issue of using smart cards made in the country is under process.
In this regard, the project director of the Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA-2) project, Brigadier General Abul KashemFazlul Quader told that at present the EC has about 4.5 million blank smart cards. In addition, about seven crore cards have been prepared for distribution. Of these, 56 million smart cards have been distributed.
For this, an agreement has been reached with Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory (BMTF). Production will start as soon as the contract is signed.
Asked when he will be able to use the local smart card, he said, “I will start using the local card from this financial year.” InshaAllah we will start using the native card by June.
Highlighting the current status of the smart card, Brigadier General Abul Kashem Fazlul Quader said, 7 crore 10 lakh 83 thousand 758 smart cards have been printed. Seven crore 9 lakh 8 have already been sent to the field from there. Five crore 9 lakh 49 thousand 462 smart cards have been distributed among the voters.
“The number of our voters is around 115 million,” he said. We have seven and a half crore smart cards in our hands. Besides, I am getting around Rs 2 crore from Abarthur Technologies and Rs 3 crore will be purchased from the new project. Then 12 and a half crore smart cards will come in our hands. As a result, I hope to be able to give everyone a smart card in a short time.
At present, the national identity card has become an essential part of digital Bangladesh. Parents need NID when their child is admitted to school. Even after death, his NID number is used for various purposes of the deceased’s family. NID is also important to identify the culprits. But as it has not yet reached all the voters, many are being harassed. Many can’t go abroad, can’t open bank accounts.
You can’t even buy a mobile SIM in your own name. Many are not getting any government service as they do not have NID. As a result, it has become a major threat to the implementation of Digital Bangladesh.
Asked about this, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar told that almost nothing can be done now without a national identity card. Even mobile SIMs cannot be bought. If someone buys a SIM with someone else’s NID, it becomes difficult to identify the culprit. The crime of technology cannot be tackled without technology. Stakeholders, including technology users, regulators and law enforcement agencies, need to be aware of digital crime prevention.
In order to keep digital management error free, mobile SIM registration and KYC should be kept error free. In addition, if the customers have a minimum skill to use digital devices, it is possible to prevent various digital crimes, including mobile financial services. Therefore, all voters should be given NID soon.
Meanwhile, most of the victims are unaware of the process of applying for National Identity Card (NID) amendment. As the application process is not known, most of the victims are coming to the head office of Agargaon in the capital to amend the NID. National identity card amendment can be applied online. But there is no publicity in this regard. If you don’t lobby by applying online, it doesn’t work.
The national identity card also found a person who is older than the father. People have been suffering for months and years with incorrect correction of their own name, parents’ name or village name.
Zahirul Islam came from the post office in Lalbagh. “About six months ago, I applied for NID amendment online,” he told. My name was misspelled. No results found so far. That’s why I had to come. But I could not correct it even after turning it two or three times.
Sunamganj Doarabazar Banglabazar Union Moularpar village resident said. Abdul Malek. According to the age of the national identity card, he is 12 years 6 months 19 days younger than his son Abu Taleb! National Identity Card (NID) son is older than the father! Father and son have been wandering around for a long time but they are not getting any solution. Although the report was sent after investigation from the district level, it is still stuck in the Election Commission. But no father or son knows why they are stuck. It is just said that the file is not named from above.
In this regard, the victim Abdul Malek told, I have been working for a year to correct an irrational mistake. We have to prove whether we are father or son. The district officer also sent a report after investigation. Even then we still do not get the correct identity card.
Acknowledging the suffering, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal said there was a lot of harassment and suffering over the national identity card. Reputation is being tarnished for some people. Everyone has to be careful. You don’t have to behave like the Lord, you have to work as a servant of the people.
Noting that the need for a national identity card is immense, the CEC said that mistakes can be made for various reasons. In the case of an amendment, however, it is not a matter of ‘the carrier will be obliged to pay only the demand’. We need to experiment. But people should not be harassed.
Explaining the importance of NID, the CEC said that it (NID) has primitiveness. We have seen in the movies that in ancient times the king or emperor used to send his envoys to other emperors, he would go there and present his identity card. There is no need to deny the need for identity. Identity card requirements are however extensive.
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