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India launches Aadhaar operator training campaign to reduce errors

Step follows confusion over deactivated digital IDs of deceased people
India launches Aadhaar operator training campaign to reduce errors

Indian authorities are conducting a nationwide campaign to increase the efficiency of the country’s biometric identity scheme Aadhaar after miscommunications and reports of procedural issues, including errors in deactivating the Aadhaar numbers of deceased people.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) launched a training campaign this week to update operators in charge of enrolling citizens into Aadhaar. The training is designed to ensure that operators are aware of the latest policies and procedures and cut down on errors during Aadhaar biometrics enrolment, updates and authentication processes.

The training sessions have already instructed 3,500 operators and trainers, The Statesman reports. UIDAI plans to hold over 100 more full-day training sessions for Aadhaar operators over the course of 2023.

Procedural issue identified

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) confirmed in April that there is a procedural issue in deactivating Aadhaar numbers of dead people raising concerns about potential identity theft and data discrepancies.

In February, the MeitY estimated there are 1.3 billion living Aadhaar number holders after “adjusting for the estimated number of deaths.”But the Indian government did not make it clear how reliable this figure is or the timeframe of the deaths, according to a report from Medianama.

The report raised questions on whether people who are deceased but still hold active Aadhaars will continue to receive benefits such as subsidies. Another issue is whether a foreigner could use a deceased person’s Aadhaar number to pretend they are Indian.

Last month, UIDAI also sowed confusion after miscommunicating a warning on the risks of sharing photocopies of Aadhaar. The scheme has also run into fraud attempts, including false biometrics and alleged terrorist use of doctored Aadhaar cards.

The country recorded 2.31 billion authentication transactions in March with the national digital ID.

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