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What Is Aadhaar and Why Is It So Important?

An Efficient and Secure Registration Process Essentially Aadhaar gathers the same four kinds of basic demographic data that any census-taking process would be expected to collect: name, address, gender and date of birth (or age). To prevent redundancy or unintentional duplication as well as fraudulent registration, Aadhaar compares this basic demographic information in each case with the relevant biometric data. The essential biometric information gathered for each registration process consists of 10 fingerprints, two scans of the applicant’s irises and a photograph of the applicant’s face. However, the registration is not restricted to mandatory user data, applicants can also elect voluntarily to provide additional information, such as mobile numbers and email addresses, that will allow them not only to securely identify themselves but also to avail of further Aadhaar services and updates.

The Dramatic Acceleration of the Aadhaar Project All of the biometric data gathered during the registration process is securely stored in a central database maintained by the UIDAI, whose first priority is to thoroughly check that each identity registered is indeed unique and that no resident of India has been registered more than once. With the registration process now having reached the point at which as many as one million Aadhaar numbers are being assigned every day, there can be little doubt that this is the most intensive and rapid process of recording biometric data and using it as the basis for secure personal identification. According to the World Bank, Aadhaar is generating savings of roughly one billion US dollars per year by cutting down on fraud and by making government services more efficient. In the following posts, we will further discuss the social, commercial and even philosophical dimensions of the remarkable Aadhaar story.

Secure identification in India from Sharone Perlstein

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