India to launch biometric airport entry pilot
07 November 2014 14:55 GMT

In late October, the Home Ministry came out in full support of the Aadhaar project

Indian authorities plan to roll out a pilot of fingerprint scanners at airport entry points that will be linked to the country’s Aadhaar unique ID number project.

From January, passengers with an Aadhaar number can place his or her fingerprint on a biometric kiosk at airport entry gates in Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport, with the details then checked against details held by the Central Industrial Security Force.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), CISF and Kempegowda International Airport Limited (KIAL) will work on the project. The UIDAI invited bids for it on 23 October, reported the Economic Times.

"This is on an experimental basis…if it works out fine, the e-KYC [Electronic Know Your Customer] plan can be considered for other Indian airports too," a senior Home Ministry official told the newspaper.

The UIDAI has been given the task of generating 1.2 billion unique identification numbers for every Indian by the end of 2015, with so-called Aadhaar numbers hoped to integrate citizens into government welfare schemes and reduce paperwork and corruption.

Self Service biometric kiosks and a display unit for the CISF at the airport will be connected to an eKYC Server of UIDAI at its Bangalore Regional Office for instant authentication.

"The service will be fully automated, and KYC data will be furnished in real-time, without any manual intervention,“ said the official.

In late October, the Home Ministry came out in full support of the Aadhaar project in a letter to all state governments.

"Since Aadhaar is based on the demographic and biometric information of an individual, it eliminates the threat of any fraud and bogus activity, “ wrote the ministry.

During the previous government, the Home Ministry had raised concerns over the sanctity of the UIDAI's database, saying uniqueness of identity was not a necessary condition for ensuring authenticity of identity.

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