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UIDAI urges use of biometrics exception to enroll disabled people in Aadhaar

UIDAI urges use of biometrics exception to enroll disabled people in Aadhaar

There are guidelines in force which allow people with disabilities to be enrolled for the Aadhaar biometric program without an iris scan or fingerprints capture. Now, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been told to ensure the digital ID program registrars adhere to those rules so that no one is left behind.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar recently directed that steps be taken to enroll one Josymol P Jose in Kerala who was unable to provide fingerprints. A UIDAI team went to her home, enrolled and issued her an Aadhaar number with her mother rejoicing that her daughter was now able to access important public services she was deprived of, according to a press release from the Ministry of Information and IT.

In his advisory, Chandrasekhar said measures must be taken to ensure that citizens with physical disabilities like Josymol are registered for the Aadhaar in line with the Biometric Exception Enrollment Guidelines issued in August 2014.

The rules provide that in the event where a person is not in a position to provide either their iris, fingerprint biometrics or both, they should be enrolled for the Aadhaar, in what is tagged exceptional enrollment. In this case, their facial photo, together with all the necessary biographical information, is taken. The rules also state that in such a scenario, the registrar in charge of the enrollment center has to indicate the biometrics that are missing in the enrollment software.

The government says exceptional enrollments are done to about 1,000 persons each day in India, and the total number of such enrollments is estimated at 2.9 million.

Iris biometric authentication system trials at Tiruchi fair price shops

For those who do enroll their iris biometrics, an iris authentication system is being piloted for subsidized food purchases in the district of Tiruchi (or Tiruchirappalli).

The system, per a report by The Hindu, provides an alternative for users who have difficulties with fingerprints authentication. It has been deployed at about 70 fair price shops already.

Supplied by the Department of Cooperation, Food and Consumer protection, the trial involves about 8.5 million ration card holders in Tiruchi who seek access to basic food items at reduced rates under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) scheme.

Fingerprint biometrics have been widely used for benefits distribution in India for several years.

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