The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been created, with the mandate of providing a unique identity (Aadhaar) number to all residents of India and also defining usages and applicability of Aadhaar for delivery of various services. Towards Aadhaar-enabling delivery of various services, UIDAI proposes to provide online authentication using demographic and biometric data.
What is Aadhaar Authentication?
Aadhaar authentication is the process wherein Aadhaar number, along with other attributes (demographic/biometrics/OTP) is submitted to UIDAI's Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) for verification; the CIDR verifies whether the data submitted matches the data available in CIDR and responds with a “Yes/No”. No personal identity information is returned as part of the response.
The purpose of Authentication is to enable residents to prove their identity and for service providers to confirm that the residents are ‘who they say they are' in order to supply services and give access to benefits.
What Are the Expected Benefits of Aadhaar Authentication?
A. Establishing Identity:
Adding new beneficiaries
Aadhaar authentication can be used as proof of identity and proof of address to extend basic social welfare programs such as PDS & RSBY to residents. It would also give residents access to social levellers such as banking & telecom which they have so far been denied for want of identity proof.
Various programs where beneficiaries need to be confirmed before delivery of the service can use Aadhaar authentication. This will help curb leakages and ensure that the targeted beneficiary is not denied entitlement.
Programs such as SSA and NREGA where financial outlay is linked to beneficiary attendance can use Aadhaar authentication for attendance tracking.
One of the biggest benefits of Aadhaar-based authentication is expected to be in financial inclusion segment. Micro-ATM devices using Aadhaar authentication have the potential of changing financial landscape of the country.
Aadhaar authentication could be used to control access/entry to restricted areas such as airports, hotels, examination halls etc.
B. Improving Efficiency & Transparency in Service Delivery
Track end-to-end service delivery process
Aadhaar authentication if implemented across the service delivery process / supply chain will help curb leakages and diversions, and help identify bottlenecks in delivery.
Demand-driven, portable service delivery
Since beneficiaries can authenticate their Aadhaar anywhere, delivery processes can be re-engineered to make delivery more flexible & favourable to the beneficiaries.
Access to relevant MIS and empowerment of beneficiary
Aadhaar can be used to empower beneficiaries and provide self-help facilities for activities such as checking their entitlements, services delivery timeline, log grievances etc through self-service kiosks, mobile phones, call centres etc.
Accountability / vigilance
Aadhaar-based authentication can also be used for authenticating officials / members responsible for service delivery, audits, vigilance etc.
C. Address and Demographic Verification:
Address verification, which is a key requirement for providing services like telephone connection, banking products, could be done through Aadhaar- authentication. This is expected to reduce the cost of KYC & at the same time provide a reliable verification mechanism.
Demographic data verification
Demographic data like age and gender can be verified through Aadhaar authentication.
Aadhaar Authentication Offerings:
Type 1 Authentication
Through this offering, service delivery agencies can use Aadhaar Authentication system for matching Aadhaar number and the demographic attributes (name, address, date of birth, etc) of a resident.
Type 2 Authentication
This offering allows service delivery agencies to authenticate residents through One-Time-Password (OTP) delivered to resident's mobile number and/or email address present in CIDR.
Type 3 Authentication
Through this offering, service delivery agencies can authenticate residents using one of the biometric modalities, either iris or fingerprint.
Type 4 Authentication
This is a 2-factor authentication offering with OTP as one factor and biometrics (either iris or fingerprint) as the second factor for authenticating residents.
Type 5 Authentication
This offering allows service delivery agencies to use OTP, fingerprint & iris together for authenticating residents.
The Aadhaar number needs to be submitted in all forms of authentication so that this operation is reduced to a 1:1 match. Aadhaar number itself is not an authentication factor. Type 1 authentication may be combined with any other Aadhaar authentication offering.
Service delivery agencies should select the appropriate authentication type based on their business requirements. They would need to balance out the resident convenience and service delivery risk before finalizing the authentication offering.