Running from office to office for services will soon be a thing of the past. With the launch of the National Digital Identity Project today, the collection of biometric data of all Bhutanese citizens who are eight years and above will begin soon. Once complete, most of the services provided by the government can be easily obtained online using biometrics.
Biometrics mainly includes face recognition, fingerprint and palmprint for identifying individuals. This is what collecting biometrics look like. Once the project is complete, individuals will be given a unique digital identity based on biometric information collected.
“One of the key requirements to delivering services online is the need to verify the identity of the applicant. Since we are unable to do that securely, most meaningful services like financial and land transaction-related services still require face to face interaction. To digitally transform that service, we require a secure and efficient way to verify the applicant’s identity,” said Karma Donnen Wangdi, the Minister for Information and Communication.
Lyonpo said this hasn’t been possible until today. However, this project is expected to “set up the foundation of trust on digital identity which will transform the way our government’s online services to the people.”
The Department of Information Technology and Telecom, Department of Immigration, Department of Civil Registration and Census are implementing the project with support from the De-suups.
During the pilot period, they collected data from diverse sections from students to people in rural areas and people with disabilities. Data for more than 25,000 citizens were collected so far. The project is expected to be complete within a year and a half. It is one of the major components of the government’s Digital Drukyul Flagship Programme.
Edited by Sonam