Assam NRC data offline: Wipro says contract not renewed after October 2019

An official checks the documents submitted by people at an National Register of Citizens (NRC) Seva Kendra in Guwahati

With Assam's NRC data going offline, IT major Wipro on Wednesday said authorities concerned did not renew the services contract for the project after it expired in October 2019.

After a rigorous tender process, Wipro was appointed as the system integrator for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) project in Assam in 2014, as per the company.

In an e-mailed statement, the Bengaluru-based company said it had continued to pay the hosting service fee until January end "as a gesture of goodwill" and that it is willing to continue providing these services if the agreement is renewed by the authorities.

"The project was commissioned by the Registrar General of India and the Ministry of Home Affairs, and was monitored by the Honourable Supreme Court of India.

"As an IT services provider, Wipro was tasked with providing the technical architecture and technology solutions for the project," it said.

The company's statement comes hours after the central government said the NRC data in Assam is safe even though some technical issues were visible and that would be resolved soon.

"The IT Services Contract was not renewed by the authorities upon its expiry in October, 2019. However, as a gesture of goodwill, Wipro continued to pay the hosting service fee until January-end, 2020," Wipro said in the statement.

However, Wipro did not comment on the quantum of dues or whether discussions were underway to resolve the issue.

The complete details about the NRC exercise was uploaded on the official website 'www.nrcassam.nic.in' after the final list was published on August 31, 2019.

However, the data is not available for the last couple of days and it has created panic, mostly among the people excluded from the list as the rejection certificates were yet to be issued.

"The NRC data is safe. Some technical issues are in visibility on cloud. These are being resolved soon," a home ministry spokesperson said.

On Tuesday, NRC State Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma said the data has been made offline, but refuted the allegation of any "malafide" intent in it.

The cloud service for the huge set of data was provided by Wipro and the contract was till October last year. However, this was not renewed by the previous coordinator. So, the data got offline from December 15 after it was suspended by Wipro, Sarma had said.

He had said also the state coordination committee had decided to do necessary formalities in its meeting on January 30 and wrote to Wipro during the first week of February.

"Once Wipro makes the data live, it will be available for public. We hope people will be able to access it in the next 2-3 days," Sarma had said.



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