May 10, 2013 -
The Cabinet Committee on the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has approved the fourth phase of the Aadhaar program, which aims to enroll another 400 million people.
Reported in India Today, citing anonymous sources, this fourth phase includes components like the cost of enrolment through multiple registrars, updating services, cost of printing and delivery, construction for headquarters and data centers, as well as additional rent for regional offices of UIDAI.
The fourth phase comes at a price tag of $US 627,001,280 (Rs. 34,360,000,000) to complete, and enrolment is expected to be complete by March 2014.
Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, based on the IMF’s recently published report, “Regional Outlook: Asia and Pacific,” the group notes that the integration of direct cash transfer with Aadhaar will take time, but will ultimately help the Indian government save 0.5 percent of the annual GDP.
In addition, A recent research report on the Indian biometrics market says it is poised for significant growth, thanks in part to the Aadhaar program and direct cash transfer scheme.
Despite its benefits, the UIDAI’s Aadhaar program has also hit a few snags as of late. Confirming the worst fears of those already untrusting of national biometric systems, the Maharashtra government lost the biometric data of about 300,000 Aadhaar applicants as it was being uploaded by the state information technology department.
In addition, several banks in India have vocally come out against a platform created by the UIDAI, which would see Aadhaar numbers used to authenticate ID before every transaction regarding bank accounts receiving welfare benefits. According to reports, resistance is rooted in two main concerns: Banks wantthe UIDAI to bear liabilities related to false identification and the UIDAI wants banks to reconfigure existing systems to its interoperable solution.