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Maharashtra to deploy multi-biometric criminal ID solution, Aadhaar POS machines


The Maharashtra, India government is expected to choose a technology vendor this month to equip fingerprint, iris and face scanners to police stations throughout the state to record biometric data of criminals, according to a report by The Indian Express.

The state government posted a tender in December asking vendors to bid on the development and deployment of the Union Home Ministry’s Automatic Multimodal Biometric Identification System (AMBIS).

The project is headed by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) at the Centre and the State Crime Records Bureau’s (SCRB) individual states.

Although the NCRB currently has digital records of criminals, state governments are deploying their own AMBIS to replace the current practice of manually examining and matching fingerprints to identify criminals.

Safran Identity and Security and NEC are currently the only vendors that have met the stringent technical requirements of the Maharashtra contract.

A senior home department official said.that a final technical analysis of the two bids will be made this month, at which point, AMBIS is expected to be operational in Maharashtra in one year.

AMBIS, operated by the Maharashtra Criminal Investigation Department (CID), will also involve the issuance of biometric scanners to police stations in each of the state’s 10 police commissionerates and 35 districts.

The scanners will be linked to the existing Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), a digital system designed to improve policing efficiencies.

Each police station will be equipped with a terminal dedicated for use of the scanners. In addition, police will begin recording biometric data of offenders in serious criminal cases, criminals with a long history of serious crimes, and other criminals.

The official said that approximately 500,000 fingerprints in the state’s records were recently digitized and will be entered into the new system. Eligible officials will be able to access the data from any Maharashtra police station and at a central server in Mumbai.

Once the system is operational, the police will not only be able to search for criminals with previous crime records in other villages and districts, Maharashtra will also be able to access the NCRB’s central database of biometric records, making searches for criminals with known records easier.

The state government is also adding a stronger layer of authentication through the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) for citizen (G2C) service delivery and payments, according to a report by DNA India.

The government has recommended all merchants and vendors to implement acceptance infrastructure through biometrics-based Aadhaar-enabled point of sale (PoS) machines.

AEPS enables customers to use their UIDAI number and fingerprints at PoS (micro-ATM) machines for a range of transactions including cash deposits, withdrawals, and remittances. However, Aadhaar numbers have to be seeded with bank accounts in order for it to work.

Maharashtra has nearly 100 percent Aadhaar coverage and 73 percent Aadhaar seeding, making the rollout possible. In addition, the state has 16 million Jan Dhan accounts and 12.3 million Rupay cards.

Vijay Kumar Gautam, principal secretary of information technology said that AEPS would curb any security issues related to traditional PoS machines, as well as encouraged private vendors to use AEPS through various workshops across the state.

From April 1, all G2C transactions and the 372 services under the Right to Services (RTS) Act will go digital.

The government is rolling out AEPS-based POS machines in all 30,000 Aaple Sarkar E-Sewa Kendras or Citizen Service Centres (CSC), with 4,200 micro-ATMs to feature swipe capabilities.

The entire ecosystem is expected to be completed by the end of March. Meanwhile, CSCs will hold village-level engagement workshops for local merchants.

Previously reported, Amitabh Kant, National Institution for Transforming India, said India could introduce biometric payments within three years, eliminating the need for cash and typical electronic payment methods.

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