Fair price shops to ‘catch the eye’


Taking a step ahead from its initial plan of using fingerprints and a One-Time Password (OTP) as biometric authentication for buying food grains at its Fair Price Shops, the Delhi government has decided to include iris recognition in the system. Iris recognition and the OTP will be considered in case a machine is unable to detect fingerprints.

The move comes after officials spotted loopholes in the pilot project undertaken by the Food and Supplies Department of the government. As many as 42 FPS were upgraded with biometric scanners around nine months ago. “Overall assessment has indicated that the pilot project has been smooth, except minor glitches. A common problem was that the machines would fail to detect fingerprints on several occasions, which is why iris recognition is being introduced,” said a senior government official.

Another problem is that of connectivity. Owners of many shops complained that the machines failed to catch signal. To address this issue, the government has modified the required specification to accommodate two SIM cards in the point of sale (POS) devices and also allow additional antennas wherever required. The project will be outsourced to a company or a ‘systems integrator’ that would build, operate and maintain the system for five years.

The upgrade, which will computerise the whole ration system of Delhi, is expected to be operational from June. Once in place, a food security card holder or any of her/his family members would have to clear the biometric authentication to receive monthly ration. “The process of computerisation of FPS has been easier in the case of Delhi because it has 100 per cent Aadhaar seeding. The government did not have to spend extra in getting the biometrics of ration card holders,” added the official.

The Capital has 2,494 FPS with 72.54 lakh people being provided food security cards till date.

The quota for beneficiaries in Delhi under the Food Security Act, 2013, is 72.8 lakh. Financial bids for the project will be opened by the end of this month.

The upgrade, to

be operational

from June, will computerise the ration system

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 9:55:49 PM |

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