Tatkal and AADHAAR – A wonderful tango

As per UIDAI data, 20 crores residents have enrolled for the AADHAAR numbers. In the next couple of months all the 20 crores residents should have the basic AADHAAR card in their hands.

At present, the AADHAAR number is being used as an Authentication tool for distribution of Government payouts viz MNREGA wages, Old age pensions etc i.e in rural areas.

Field tests are going on, with full fledged implementation still a long way to go.

As the basic infrastructure is ready, the scope should be enlarged to increase the sample size. The higher the sample size, the more the observations. This will in turn help in smooth roll-out for a full-scale implementation.

One of the primary mandates of UIDAI is to provide online authentication using demographic and biometric data via the AADHAAR numbers.

However there are scenarios wherein offline authentication will also be useful.

Online Authentication: Data is validated in real time against a central data base. Any updations happen in real time. The best examples are the ATM transactions.

Offline Authentication: Data is validated against a stored data base. The stored data base contains only a part of the central data base.

As the Railway tickets are perishable, i.e once the journey date is over, there is no validity for the rail tickets, and a viable authentication mechanism will be useful to ensure that only genuine passengers are travelling.

At present, the Unique Identification Card “Aadhaar” will also be accepted as proof of Identity for travelling on e-tickets. This means for such travelers, Biometric authentication is possible.

Process flow: The authentication will be done on offline method.

Prerequisite: Hand-held biometric authentication terminals. On the day of the journey, the respective Traveling Ticket Examiner (TTE) will plug in the Authentication Terminals into the Railways ticket server.

  1. The details of the passengers who have mentioned AADHAAR as Identify proof will be transferred to the Authentication Terminals.

  2. The Authentication Terminals is than plugged to the UIDAI Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) server.

  3. The biometrics of the respective passenger’s are copied to the Authentication Terminals.

  4. During the journey, the Traveling Ticket Examiner (TTE) verifies the tickets, and authenticates the passengers on the Authentication Terminals.

  5. Biometric details are automatically deleted once the train completes its journey.

  6. All data will be in encrypted form only.

UIDAI has launched its Authentication services in February 12. There will be no service charges till December 2013. After Dec2013, the policy will be reviewed. Of course, any service charges will be collected in the Electronic mode only!!

Benefits of UIDAI and Indian Railways joint project:

  1. Large pool of users for rigorous testing.

  2. Adequate ROI(Return on Investment)

  3. Growth of a viable eco-system for AADHAAR authentication services.

  4. Familiarize AADHAAR number holders with the benefits of authentication.

  5. Encourage other participants viz Banks. Insurance companies to jump onto the AADHAAR authentication bandwagon.

Measures to encourage passengers to migrate to AADHAAR authentication mode.

  1. Exclusive ticket counters.

  2. Exclusive timings on Net Bookings.

  3. Loyalty program points.

  4. Discounts on the service charges.

After discussions the appropriate authentication type can be finalized with a focus on balancing convenience factor and service delivery risk before finalizing the authentication offering.

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