India mandates use of Aadhaar to streamline disability card issuance
The government of India has announced that the Aadhaar biometric digital ID can now be used as proof of ID by applicants seeking to obtain the Unique Disability ID (UDID).
The new policy is expected to positively impact millions of persons with disability who have often faced serious difficulties obtaining the UDID, BNN reports.
The UDID is an important card which enables its holders to access a variety of tailored services without having to present multiple documents to support their disability claims.
However, UDID card applicants have often been required, on top of their disability challenge, to go through multiple stages of verification, which sometimes end in frustration, officials say.
Praising the development, a spokesperson for the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, quoted by BNN, said “the integration of Aadhaar with the UDID application process is a significant move towards building a more inclusive society.”
“It not only simplifies the identification process but also ensures that the benefits of various government schemes and initiatives reach the intended beneficiaries without any discreppriorancies.”
With Aadhaar now the principal proof of identity for the UDID application process, it is believed that the process for procuring the disability card will become more expedient, and reduce social exclusion in India.
A digital inclusion expert from an international NGO, quoted by BNN, says the move is a lesson which speaks to the importance of having inclusion in mind when designing and deploying digital identity systems.
Priority Household cards to undergo biometric verification
In another move to improve credential accessibility through Aadhaar, the process to biometrically verify Priority Household (PHH) card beneficiaries is underway in the state of Tamil Nadu.
PHH cards are special IDs issued to members of extremely poor households who are entitled to food rations from state governments on a monthly basis.
As The Hindu reports, the exercise, to be extended to all other users gradually, will rumble on for the coming four or five months. The verification is overseen by the Civil Supplies Department.
A senior state government official is cited by the media outlet as saying that the verification process will entail capturing the fingerprint biometrics of the card holders.
There are about 9.6 million PHH cards in Tamil Nadu, which corresponds to around 30 million beneficiaries.