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  1. Aadhaar now world’s largest biometric database: 5 facts from UIDAI CEO’s presentation in Supreme Court you must know

Aadhaar now world’s largest biometric database: 5 facts from UIDAI CEO’s presentation in Supreme Court you must know

A mammoth 1.2 billion or about 120 crore people have been enrolled in the Aadhaar scheme so far, bringing about 89% of India's population under the Aadhaar net and making it the world's largest biometric database, the CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Ajay Bhushan Pandey revealed.

By: | New Delhi | Published: March 23, 2018 1:14 PM
Aadhaar, uidai on Aadhaar, Aadhaar linking, Aadhaar sc presentation, uidai, uidai ceo on Aadhaar, uidai ceo presentation on Aadhaar, Aadhaar linking deadline, supreme court on Aadhaar, Aadhaar largest biometric database So far 1.2 billion or about 120 crore people have been enrolled in the Aadhaar scheme.

A mammoth 1.2 billion or about 120 crore people have been enrolled in the Aadhaar scheme so far, bringing about 89% of India’s population under the Aadhaar net and making it the world’s largest biometric database, the CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Ajay Bhushan Pandey, revealed in his presentation to the Supreme Court on Thursday. The data was backed by statistician Mohandas Menon who took to Twitter and said, “With more than 1.19 billion (119 crore) enrolments, Aadhaar is now the world’s largest biometric database! This means 89% of the population have now been enrolled for #Aadhaar!”

Talking about the procedure for children, Pandey said that a child can update his Aadhaar details three times – when he is an infant, then when he reaches age of five and finally at the age of 15.

Here are 5 important things from UIDAI CEO’s presentation to the SC that you should know:

1. In his presentation, Pandey said that it takes less than US $1 for one Aadhaar card from the time of enrolment to its delivery to a citizen. He said that sometime back a very large population had no nationally-acceptable IDs – children, old, migrant workers, poor, destitute and used local proxy/domain IDs and faced language, format, jurisdiction barriers. He said that this led to exclusion and denial of service but Aadhaar has provided a robust, lifetime, reusable, nationally on line verifiable ID and identification to citizens.

2. He said UIDAI has reached a level where it can generate, print and dispatch more than 1.5 million Aadhaar per day. However, he also revealed that the number of Aadhaar enrolments have hit saturation from 20 lakh every day to 2 lakh now.

3. A 1984-batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre, Pandey said that in order to ensure that there is no denial of benefits to the citizens, from July onwards, besides fingerprints and iris, the photograph of the person will also be used for authentication. He said after the implementation of this step, no person shall be deprived of the benefits. Pandey believes that the step will also help people with no or poor biometrics.

4. Talking about the security concerns, Pandey said that no profiling can be done by using the Aadhaar. “If somebody opens a bank account or gets a mobile phone by using the Aadhaar, the UIDAI cannot know the account details or the phone number,” he said. The UIDAI chief said that Aadhaar has a superior 2048-bit encryption whereas the standard encryption rate is 256.

5. Responding to the bench’s concern of possible tampering of data over the allegation that the software has been taken from outside, Pandey said, “These are our software and developed by us,” adding that only biometric matching software has been taken from three best companies and these were licenced software which ran the system.

The bench also referred to the allegation of senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for Justice K S Puttaswamy and asked why 49,000 certified private operators, out of total 6.83 lakh who carry out Aadhaar enrolment, have been blacklisted by UIDAI.

In his response, the UIDAI CEO said that even though Aadhaar is free, these operators were charging people. He added that they were blacklisted after UIDAI received complaints against them as it was a ‘zero tolerance policy towards corruption’.

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