- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) in 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- UIDAI was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India. The UID had to be (a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and (b) verifiable and authenticable in an easy, cost-effective way.
- As on 31 March 21, the Authority has issued 128.99 crore Aadhaar numbers to the residents of India.
- Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and perform authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.
Why in News?
- The Unique Identification Authority of India has successfully rolled out a new security mechanism for Aadhaar based fingerprint authentication, and faster detection of spoofing attempts.
- The artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) based security mechanism developed in-house is now using a combination of both finger minutia and finger image to check the liveness of the finger print captured.
- This is making Aadhaar authentication transactions even more robust and secure.
- The new two factor/layer authentication is adding add-on checks to validate the genuineness (liveness) of the fingerprint so as to further cut down the chances of spoofing attempts.
- The move will be of immense use in segments including banking and financials, telecom and government sectors. It shall also benefit bottom of the pyramid as it will further strengthen the Aadhaar enabled payment system and curb malicious attempts by unscrupulous elements.
- The adoption of Aadhaar based authentication transactions has been witnessing an upward trend as it has proved to be a facilitator in availing several welfare benefits and services. By the end of December 2022, cumulative number of Aadhaar authentication transactions had crossed 88.29 billion and clocking an average per day transactions of 70 million. A majority of them are fingerprint-based authentications, indicative of its usage and utility in daily lives.