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India’s IT & communications ministry to take over Aadhaar biometric identification project


India’s ministry of information technology and communications will take over the country’s national citizen identification project, Aadhaar, according to a report by Business Standard.

Under the Unique Identification Authority of India, the planning commission in the previous government was previously in charge of Aadhaar. However, leadership for the project must now shift as a result of the commission’s recent revamp.

“Since Aadhaar has many links with technology and is expected to play a bigger role in the government’s plan of ‘Digital India’, the ministry of IT and communications has started consultations with other ministries to move Aadhaar under its domain,” a senior government official told Business Standard, adding that the ministry would soon prepare a Cabinet note for bringing Aadhaar under its administrative jurisdiction.

Currently, about 745.6 million people, or 61% of the population, have been provided with Aadhaar numbers, with a government goal to enrol the entire country by June. Additionally, the percentage of enrolment is over 90% in 15 states.

Aadhaar is also being used for several other functions, including monitoring the attendance of government officials and as a proof of identity for government and private services.

The government also plans to link Aadhaar numbers with driving licences after successfully linking them with passports, mobile SIM cards, pension funds and the Digital India project.

Previously reported, the Election Commission of India is working on a plan to “embed” and synchronize the Aadhaar database with that of the Electoral Photo ID Card to help prevent duplication or forgery at election polls.

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