The PSA office had taken an initiative to develop MNICs. PSA had held a meeting of few Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) operating in the field of semiconductors to discuss the implementation strategy. Subsequently, PSA pursued the matter with Hon’ble Minister for Home Affairs. PSA office has also catalyzed a report on the subject. First part of report dealt with completing the pilot project by producing and distributing microprocessor chip based smartcards and the other part dealt with the subsequent national roll-out. These efforts resulted in Ministry of Home affairs formally launching the pilot MNIC project in October, 2006. A Steering Committee, to oversee the implementation of the pilot MNIC project, was constituted by the MHA under the chairmanship of PSA to address technical issues related to the implementation of the pilot project, a Technical Committee was also constituted by the MHA with the Director General, NIC, as the Chairman.
The pilot project covering about 12 districts (mostly border districts) and about 12 lakh citizens, was completed successfully on the 31st of March, 2008 and first few MNICs were handed-over to citizens.
The most important feature of the pilot MNIC project is its security aspect which has been taken care of very effectively by the NIC and the consortium of PSUs. The technology used in the production of the MNICs and IPR generated will remain as the Government’s property. The experience gained in implementation of the pilot project will be very useful for the national rollout.