May 24, 2013 -
The Unique Identification Authority of India has launched three new Aadhaar services and has also announced opening of 300 additional permanent enrolment centers.
Reported in the Times of India, the specific services launched are eKnow Your Customer (eKYC), an authentication service using iris and another service using a one-time pin.
The authority has also announced that an extra 300 permanent enrolment centers – called Aadhaar Kendras — will be open soon. Plans are also afoot to increase the number of these Aadhaar Kendras to 1,000 by September of this year.
Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the fourth phase of the Aadhaar program has just been approved by the Cabinet Committee on the Unique Identification Authority of India. The fourth phase aims to enroll another 400 million people.
Some good news for the Aadhaar program: 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 want the UIDAI to bear liabilities related to false identification and the UIDAI wants banks to reconfigure existing systems to its interoperable solution.