India looks to create biometric database of foreign visitors

India is looking to create a biometric database of all foreign visitors, starting with Pakistani spectators of cricket matches.

Once this objective is off the ground, the Indian Home Ministry will make it mandatory for visa applicants from the United States and the United Kingdom to provide all 10 fingerprints to build the database, hindustantimes reports. 

According to the hindustantimes report, biometrics will be required from U.S. and U.K. visa applicants as they account for 1.8 million out of the total 6.3 million of foreign visitors to India per year.  On the other hand, visitors from Pakistan have been included in this program due to fears that terrorists and criminals could slip into the country across the Pakistan/India border.

Nearly 1,200 Pakistanis who came into India with valid documents over the past few years have disappeared and another dozen, who entered India to watch cricket matches in 2007, are also missing.

This new mandatory biometric enrollment program will only cover foreign visitors from the United States, United Kingdom and Pakistan, but will be expanded to other countries by 2014. Once fully operational, this database will be part of the National Intelligence Grid database that will allow security agencies to identify “risky travellers.”

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the Unique Identity Authority of India has recently discovered 384,000 false Aadhaar numbers, fraudulently registered by agencies throughout the country.

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