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Indian farmers’ digital ID proposed as Aadhaar reaches 99 percent adult coverage

BSID issuance speeds up
Indian farmers’ digital ID proposed as Aadhaar reaches 99 percent adult coverage

India’s Biometric Seafarers Identity Document (BSID) has been integrated with the National Maritime Logistics Portal, which has reduced the issuance time for new digital ID cards from five or six days to one, according to the Financial Express.

The document is issued by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, and contains a chip which includes facial biometric data, and can be authenticated through public key infrastructure.

A similar credential being considered as part of the India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA) proposed in a consultation paper by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare is meeting resistance, writes The Hindu Business Line.

The idea is to create a Unique Farmer Identity (UFID) based on farmers’ Aadhaar data, but the Free Software Movement of India (FSMI), an IT advocacy group, says it is a direct violation of fundamental privacy rights.

“The usage of Aadhaar data collected for specific purposes like PM-KISAN to create UFID is a contempt of the Supreme Court orders in Aadhaar judgment,” said FSMI President Y Kiran Chandra, according to the report.

Ram Kaundinya, co-founder of agricultural innovation and entrepreneurship group ThinkAg, suggests India’s agricultural system should be modernized, and pointed out that it is unclear whether farmers who do not own their land would be required to obtain the digital ID.

The federal government has been encouraging states to register farmers’ biometrics to deal directly with them for government agricultural procurement.

Aadhaar reaches over 99 percent of adults, authentication history check launched

More than 99 percent of India’s adult population now holds an Aadhaar ID, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced, with Mint reporting that more than 1,295,000,000 digital IDs have been generated for Indians above 18 years of age.

That represents a gain of nearly 40 million from a year ago.

The UIDAI launched a feature enabling Aadhaar-holders to check their authentication history for up to 50 transactions stretching back 6 months, with a Tweet spotted by Goodreturns.

Users can specify whether they seek records for biometric authentication, another modality, a combination of modalities or all, with information including the modality, authentication user agency name, auth response and error code returned.

The UIDAI’s achievements are breathlessly hailed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant for The Times of India as emblematic of India’s “techade,” as dubbed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi is also the Chair of NITI Aayog.

Kant recounts attempts to register a new account by fisherman in Kerala taking at least ten months, some 30 years ago, compared to the moments it now takes with digital KYC and biometrics.

The volume of mobile payments by India’s 700 million internet users is impressive, with the country’s UPI (Universal Payments Interface) performing 2.8 billion transactions in June 2021 alone.

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