Indian states deploy facial recognition for election polls, biometric attendance system in schools

The State Election Commission (SEC) in India’s Telangana state is piloting facial recognition technology in upcoming elections for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), The Hindu reports.

The AI facial recognition system leverages liveness detection, big data mining and deep learning. It is named Real Time Digital Authentication of Identity or RTGAI, and was already introduced by Telangana’s Information Technology, Electronics & Communications Department to make it easier for pensioners to get a ‘life certificate’ and is now testing it for photo match in elections.

The concept was first discussed during the 2020 – Year of AI ceremony where a number of officials were present including IT, Municipal Administration & Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao and IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan.

During the last two months, Rao tested police dedicated technology for crowd counting and person tracking.

“We had checked it in the recent T20 match and got 90% accuracy, we are further testing to improve it further,” officials said.

Officials claim the facial recognition technology deployed can be verified digitally and it can identify an individual across a 20-year time span, regardless of profile changes.

Voter identity will be authenticated once and in real time with a smart phone or tab and they will be issued digital Elector Photo Identity Cards (EPICs).

The new system has three identification factors to remove multiple identity cards and duplicates. Future government plans include its expansion to driving license renewal and address changes.

Another innovative solution launched in the state is a chat box for the Stamps & Registration Department which makes it easier for citizens to communicate online to make the registration process more transparent. The institution wants to connect the chat box to payment gateways.

Maharashtra state tests biometric attendance system for schools

A biometric attendance system will be piloted in 120 state board schools in Maharashtra state in India, Hindustan Times reports.

The system is tested in Aurangabad, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad and Palghar, where students grades 1 to 10 will have to use the biometric machines to confirm school attendance.

The government is working with a privacy company to install the system and will decide on future deployment plans for all schools following a three-month test. While the government is excited about the new project, schools are reportedly concerned the process is too time consuming.

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