All 10 fingerprints, an iris scan and a photograph of the person will be used for unique identificaution (UID) of individuals, the cabinet committee on UID decided on Tuesday, giving its in-principle clearance to guidelines for setting up the UID database.
In a billion-plus population, a mix of biometric and photographic record is considered necessary to ensure fidelity of information collected in the project. With UID intended to help identify beneficiaries of welfare schemes, children between ages 5 and 15 will be included in view of the ambitious right to education.
In keeping with the government’s efforts to improve services like PDS and MNREGA, the priority in UID’s rollout will be the poor and children eligible under the recently notified Right to Education.
The former Infosys chief and Chairman of UID Nandan Nilekani said fingerprints of all 10 fingers would help prevent duplicat IDs being issued and establishing a particular person was just who he or she claimed to be. Admitting that the technological challenge of building such a database was not inconsiderable, Nilekani said the process would be wholly voluntary.