Aadhaar: The World’s Largest Biometric Identity System Improves Health and Welfare Services to the Poor

Government
Healthcare

The Aadhaar project in India is providing a unique identifier for every resident of India - 1.2 billion residents - to make it easier to open a bank account, and mobility of the population. It also will decrease the embezzlement of government subsidies by as much as 1.3 billion dollars. The project uses MapR and Hadoop to create and maintain the world’s largest biometric database, which can verify a person’s identity within 200 milliseconds. The biometric database includes an iris scan, digital fingerprints, a digital photo, and then text-based data for every resident.

The Unique Identification (Aadhaar) project was created in order to provide every resident of India with a unique identification number that can be used to access a variety of services and benefits. The project enables residents in India to receive food coupons, receive cooking gas deliveries, open checking accounts, apply for loans, insurance, pensions, property deeds, etc. In addition, the program makes it possible for the Indian government to make sure that welfare benefits go directly to the right person. This is especially important for India’s poor residents, who often lacked documentation and found it difficult to access services.

The uniqueness of an Aadhaar identity makes it possible to eliminate fake and duplicate accounts, and the online authentication system provides a mechanism for the paperless, electronic and instantaneous verification of a person’s identity. Over 1 billion Aadhaars (IDs) have been issued according to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the central government agency of India that runs the Aadhaar program (https://portal.uidai.gov.in/uidwebportal/dashboard.do).

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Architecting the World’s Largest Biometric Identity System: The Aadhaar Experience
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Architecting World's Largest Biometric Identity System - Aadhaar Experience
Pramod Varma, Chief Architect of Aadhaar
Strata+Hadoop World 2014
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