India plans single sign-on for digital government services, Aadhaar fraud ring shut down


The government plans to launch a single sign-on (SSO) service to access a wide range of government programs and benefits, writes the India time.

The common platform for state and central government services is expected to reduce the burden of memorizing numerous passwords for government services and be launched no later than August this year. The platform would also help guide users with information on programs applicable to them.

A “national digital profile” would be created for all citizens and would be used to pre-fill government forms, according to the report.

Achievements and Limitations of Aadhaar

The total number of Aadhaar accounts issued reached 1.26 billion in 2021, mint reports, citing a statement from the country’s IT ministry. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has signed agreements with two service providers to set up and operate 166 Sewa Kendras (Service Centers) in 122 cities in India.

In Assam, however, 2.7 million people are Aadhaar-free after their biometrics were locked, according to Economic times.

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) has collected the biometrics of many Assam residents as part of an appeals process, after more than 3.6 million people applied to be placed on an original list published in mid-2018. However, the enrollment of their biometric data appears to have clashed with Aadhaar’s deduplication process, meaning that none of those awaiting the lifting of a suspension of NRC-generated “Aadhaar enrollment packets” cannot receive the national identity card or use it to access services and benefits.

The Assam government says it has written to the federal government and the Registrar General of India, and an official has suggested the Supreme Court may have to intervene in the situation.

The Economic Times recounts the plight of a student stranded in access to student loans, due to the two-year stalemate.

UIDAI filed complaint with Hyderabad Police resulting in arrest of eight people using unauthorized Aadhaar kits and Assam ID cards, MediaNama reports (subscription required and recommended).

Biometric devices including iris and fingerprint scanners were seized during the arrest, along with equipment to forge birth certificates to perform Aadhaar registrations or updates.

MediaNama suggests that the arrests cast doubt on the alleged infallibility of the Aadhaar system, and therefore its suitability for use with the electoral system.

Similarly, a gang was arrested in Haryana last June after allegedly defrauding the Aadhaar system.

Health Cards in NCT

The National Capital Territory government plans to collect biometric data and map family relationships and home addresses of Delhi residents as part of a health management system, according to a tender document reported by MediaNama.

In addition to clinical and demographic information, health cards would contain a photo of the bearer, which could be used for authentication to access online services.

The tender suggests that the voter’s ID card will be required to receive a health card, and that a link to “optional” IDs, including Aadhaar, would be required for deduplication .

Article topics

adhar | biometrics | digital identity | government services | identity management | India | single sign-on | UIDAI


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