Pakistan has been a leader in the application of identification systems and technology to a range of development issues. It has pioneered applications of biometric technology. The National Database and Registration Authority(NADRA) of Pakistan have become a central player in several program areas.
It is an independent and autonomous agency under the control of the Interior secretary of Pakistan. It regulates government databases and statistically manages the sensitive registration database of all the national citizens of Pakistan in view of national security. NADRA has formed 20 years ago on 10th March 2000. It falls under the jurisdiction of the constitution of Pakistan and is a type of government database.
The motto of this body states, “EMPOWERMENT THROUGH IDENTITY.” It has about 18,000 employees working for it. NADRA is growing at an increasing speed and safeguards the databases of its citizens with utter secrecy and security. The official website of NADRA, where one can enquire about all its facilities, is www.nadra.gov.pk. It is one of the largest government database institution in the World with more than 800 domestic offices and 5 international offices as well.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF NADRA:
- Issuing computerized National Identity Cards to all the citizens of Pakistan, maintain their sensitive data, and upgrading it on government computers.
- Securing national identities of citizens from being stolen or intrusion of any harmful party
- Protecting the databases of citizens of Pakistan with secrecy and vigilance.
HISTORY AND ESTABLISHMENT
- After the independence of Pakistan, the Prime Minister launched the Personal Identity System (PIS) program to register, manage, and also to issue the National Identification Cards to all the citizens of Pakistan and Muslim refugees in Pakistan.
- Till late until the 1970s, amendments were being made in this system.
- After the 1971 war, East Pakistan gained independence as Bangladesh, but after this, a new statistical database system was needed to ensure the safety of Pakistani citizens and also for the national security of the country.
- This need was aroused as questions were being raised on who is a Pakistani and who is not. The Bhutto regime introduced a national registration act in the parliament of Pakistan so that photo ID’s can be issued to all the Pakistani citizens.
- National Identity Card(NIC) numbers were issued to establish government databases.
- NADRA was established in 2000 by merging the Directorate general of Registration Pakistan with the National Database Organisation(NDO).
- NADRA launched the Multi-Biometric National identity developed in accordance with the international laws of security
NICOP APPLICATION AND NADRA ONLINE
NICOP refers to the National Identity Card For Overseas Pakistanis. NICOP is basically a registration document issued to an eligible citizen of Pakistan who lives or has reference abroad. In case of the dual nationality of an individual, one can apply for NICOP and travel to Pakistan without the requirement of a VISA.
NADRA has commenced its services of online applications for NICOP and other identity documents. Online data is collected, such as fingerprints, thumb impressions, and signatures. Online fee is submitted after the submission of the application through debit or credit card. Facilities of NADRA can be availed by visiting the official website and filling the application form.