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UID test phase off the ground in A.P.
Andhra Pradesh , India - April 09, 2010

The exercise will help standardise the process for capturing biometric data.

PATANCHERU (MEDAK DISTRICT): One of the most ambitious undertaking of its kind , the Unique Identity Number (UID) project took a baby-step, with the launch of a test phase in Medak and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Christened ‘Proof of Concept', the initiative will set the stage for the pilot phase which is expected to commence in August, and eventually the final phase when it rolls out throughout the nation. It will also help the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), to provide a unique identity number to every Indian citizen, to define biometric standards in the Indian context and standardise the process of biometric collection, V.S. Bhaskar, Deputy Director- General, UIDAI, said.

The UIDAI has chosen Andhra Pradesh, given the State's experience in implementing the country's largest biometric programme and the availability of a centralised database. The State, through its Civil Supplies Department, had issued iris-based biometric cards to 4.59 crore citizens.

It is the large-scale use of biometrics that sets apart the UID from similar projects. For the first time, biometric data (face image, fingerprints and iris scans) unique to each person, along with demographic and personal identification details (name, gender, age etc.), will be collected from every citizen.

One of the primary objectives of ‘Proof of Concept' will be to assess the functionality of these biometric technologies and solutions at the ground level.

“The UIDAI will look at the enrollment conditions in rural areas. The devices are designed for clean environments and might not function properly due to Indian conditions such as sweaty weather and dust. Sometimes fingerprints cannot be enrolled because of the nature of work — a problem called ‘noise' in technical jargon,” said Sreeni Tripuraneni, chairman and CEO of 4Gid Identity Solutions (4GidIS), a Hyderabad-based identity management solution provider, chosen to implement ‘Proof of Concept' in Andhra Pradesh.

The company developed an algorithm to remove the ‘noise' before segmentation and matching. “Since a large percentage of the population resides in rural areas, the success of the UID project will depend on the reliability of biometric data captured for these people.”

Bearing in mind the rustic Indian conditions, the UIDAI identified 10 locations — eight villages and two semi-urban centres — for the exercise. The target: procure biographic and biometric data of an estimated 30,000 persons twice over 56 days.

Beehive of activity.

In the past few days, Veluru, Ghanpur, Narsingi, Wargal and Patancheru in Medak and Poranki, Nidamanuru, Ramavarappadu, Kanuru and Vijayawada ward number 9 in Krishna district have been a beehive of activity.

Since March 3, 4GidIS teams have been collecting biometric data through the state-of-the-art devices after validating eligible populace through their ration cards.

‘Proof of Concept' will also be extended to Karnataka and Bihar, Mr. Bhaskar said.

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