Further strengthening its vision of “empowering residents of India with a unique identity and a digital platform to authenticate [it] anytime, anywhere,” the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Friday launched three new Aadhaar-enabled services and announced the establishment of around 300 permanent enrolment centres (Aadhaar kendras). The number of centres will be scaled up to 1,000 by September.

“This is a major step in the direction of enabling Aadhaar holders to avail themselves of various services by using the Aadhaar identity platform. It also makes sense for various user agencies [public or private] as they can identify a beneficiary/customer using a fast, secure, economical and paperless format,” said UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani. The services launched are authentication services that use iris, One Time Pin (OTP) and e-KYC (Electronic-Know Your Customer) technologies.

The iris-based authentication service enables Aadhaar number holders to identify himself/herself using their iris images. India is the first country to offer such a platform that can be used by nearly 350 million people who hold Aadhaar numbers.

The OTP service enables Aadhaar-based authentication of all those who had registered a mobile telephone number during enrolment, using their phone anytime, anywhere on a self -service mode.

The e-KYC service will allow individuals to authorise service providers to receive an electronic copy of their proof of identity and address. It can be used by various agencies to verify a person’s identity and address. Additionally, only demographic information (name, address, date of birth, gender and mobile number) that is collected during Aadhaar enrolment shall be shared, at the request of, and/or with the consent of the Aadhaar user, but will be available only for few seconds to eliminate any misuse.

Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said: “The Aadhaar authentication and e-KYC services launched will give a boost to the use of the Aadhaar identity platform for authenticating the identity of people. This is a transformational initiative, and I am sure the aam aadmi [common man] will start reaping the benefits of the Aadhaar project in the near future.”

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