As per the Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT) under Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC), in collaboration with the Department of Civil Registration and Census (DCRC), Ministry of Home and Culture Affairs (MoHCA) and the De-Suung Office, the project has collected biometric data from 219,396 individuals as of 29 April 2022.
The development of National Digital Identity (NDI) solution has undergone multiple phases of testing of concepts and ideas. As per the department, proof of concepts have been completed, and efforts are being made to pilot it in a control environment before full-scale implementation begins.
The initial biometric data collection started in Bumthang, Chukha, Haa, Gasa, Mongar, Trashigang, Thimphu, Pemagatshel, Punakha, Wangduephodrang and Zhemgang. The biometric data from Bumthang ,Haa, Zhemgang and Gasa (except in Lunana) are completed. The data collection in Punakha, Mongar, Trashigang, Pemagatshel and Wangduephodrang is expected to be completed by the end of May 2022.
However, DITT said that the total population of above dzongkhags are not fully covered because some of the people were not in their dzongkhag during the collection schedule. For those individuals, collection will be done at a later stage or at their current place of residence if it coincides with the collection schedule.
Recently, the biometric collection was started in Paro and Trongsa. Sarpang’s biometric collection is scheduled in mid-May 2022.
As per the department, the plan is to finish by the end of FY 2022-23 but the timeline has been hampered by delays caused by the pandemic. However, given the current rate of collection, DITT expects to meet the deadline.
The biometric data will be used in NDI. The data will also be used for introduction of other biometric based verifications and authentication services such as Border Management Solution, among others.
Digital identity is one of the main results focused under the main Digital Drukyul Flagship Program of Nu 2.557 billion, as the fund also covers the institutionalizing e-Patient information system, creating digital schools, integrating e-Business services (business licensing and single window for trade), land records, tax information, among other, with the use of digital ID. One can have bank transactions or even sign up contracts remotely, to state a few components that the program encapsulates.