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India layers new IDs for workers on top of Aadhaar, as DPI projects expand

India layers new IDs for workers on top of Aadhaar, as DPI projects expand

The ecosystem of India’s national digital identity program, Aadhaar, continues to grow, with new linkages between the digital ID and vocation-specific identifiers aiming to make sure benefits get to the right recipients.

The Deccan Herald reports on Indian Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda’s recent statement that the government of Karnataka state has plans to link all records of Rights, Tenancy and Crops (RTC) with Aadhaar, ostensibly to identify small and marginal farmers for distribution of drought relief and subsidies.

Gowda says “money will directly be credited to the beneficiary account without manual intervention,” starting this week. He says the number of small and marginal farmers in Karnataka has been underestimated, and that the real number is 70 percent. “We have urged the Centre to calculate drought compensation with Aadhaar-based data we have provided on small and marginal farmers.” Karnataka has suffered extended drought in 2023, leading to the establishment of a mitigation plan.

The RTCs to be linked to Aadhaar contain information on a farmer’s land, soil, crops and more. In addition to disbursal of drought relief, the Aadhaar linkage could be used to curb fraud and verify land ownership.

Karnataka was the site of a recent data breach that led to fraud via spoofing attacks due to an absence of liveness detection.

Construction workers latest to get Aadhaar add-on in ongoing DPI expansion

A national program is aiming to attach an identifier to construction workers via Aadhaar, to ensure that benefits and entitlements can travel with migrant workers as they move across the country, says an article in the Siasat Daily.

Labour Secretary Arti Ahuja says the program will ensure that whether workers and their families are in Dehli one week and Mumbai a week later, their benefits will remain accessible. The identifier will be linked to Aadhaar and integrated into the e-Shram database.

The Financial Express has news on a report saying India has provided 97 percent of its population with digital ID, and that Aadhaar and other digital public infrastructure projects (DPIs) have contributed significant value across the country’s Internet economy.

“The Impact of DPIs on the Indian Internet Economy”, produced by Redseer Strategy Consultants and Infosys executive Nandan Nilekani (who helped build Aadhaar), says DPIs have facilitated Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to 900 million beneficiaries, and given 40 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people access to banking. New initiatives continue in areas such as health, knowledge sharing and digital commerce, with examples including the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA), DigiLocker 2.0, and the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). Growth drivers include the expansion of online payments, Aadhaar and eKYC for customer onboarding and verification.

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