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Jammu and Kashmir: Opposition parties criticise family database plans of UT administration

Commissioner Secretary of the IT Department Prerna Puri said the objective of creating the database, which will be at par with Haryana's 'Parivaar Pehchaan Patra', is that families or individuals will not have to apply to receive benefits under each individual scheme.

Sreelakshmi Edited By: Sreelakshmi Jammu Updated on: December 11, 2022 16:50 IST
Opposition parties including Congress have hit out at the
Image Source : FILE Opposition parties including Congress have hit out at the J&K UT administration's plans of creating a family database.

Jammu and Kashmir: Opposition parties including the Congress, National Conference and PDP have slammed the Jammu and Kashmir administration's plans to create a database of families in the Union territory each of them having a unique alpha-numeric code. Congress chief spokesperson and former legislator Ravinder Sharma questioned the government's intention and also its capacity to protect such digital databases from cyber attacks. "Why does the government wish to peek into everything? They already have enough data through Aadhaar and are providing benefits through direct bank transfer (DBT) mode," Sharma asked.

National Conference provincial president Rattan Lal Gupta also termed the exercise as an 'unproductive use of resources.' "They already have a database of every individual because of Aadhaar. So, creating another database is not fruitful...the administration is keeping the staff busy with data collection while people are left devoid of basic facilities," said Gupta. 

"There are a lot of problems in J&K which the government ignores. Now who the government is trying to identify through this database?” said PDP leader Virendra Singh Sonu joining the chorus. However, the ruling BJP has turned a deaf year to the various criticisms raised by the opposition parties and welcomed the J&K administration's move on creating a family database. At the recent national conference on e-governance in Katra in Reasi district, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar released the Digital J&K Vision Document, unveiling the government plan to create an authentic, verified and reliable database of all families of the Union territory.

According to the vision document, "Each family will be provided with a unique alpha-numeric code called JK Family ID. The data available in the family database would be used to determine eligibility through the automatic selection of beneficiaries for receiving social benefits... The database would identify each and every family in J&K and would collect the basic data of the family, provided with the consent of the family, in a digital format."

The document further reads that all the applicable laws and regulations in respect of data protection shall be complied with in the management of data. To thwart risks and protect sensitive and critical data, it said the Jammu and Kashmir government plans to work on an information security policy and also envisages formulation of appropriate cyber security framework. Commissioner Secretary of the IT Department Prerna Puri said the objective of creating the database, which will be at par with Haryana's 'Parivaar Pehchaan Patra', is that families or individuals will not have to apply to receive benefits under each individual scheme.

"Once the data in the JK Family ID database is authenticated and verified, a beneficiary will not be required to submit any more document to avail a service," Puri told PTI.

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