Aadhaar is Standards Based

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Enrollment & Authentication Framework for Service Delivery

By Srikanth Nadhamuni,
Head Technology, UIDAI

Aadhaar has been designed to work on a set of standards. For enrollments there exist Demographic Data Standards and Biometric Standards for capturing Fingerprint, Iris and Photos. Standards for enrollment devices ensure quality of data captured. Enrollments are driven by a set of processes whereby the Registrars have been provided with an Onboarding Kit. The operators are duly trained and there exist an ingrained process for continuous improvement.

Aadhaar APIs

The system provides a whole set of APIs for developers so that they can build applications using the Aadhaar authentication system. The Biometric Capture Device API, the ABIS API, the Biometric SDK, Authentication API and Authentication Device Specifications are some of them.

Aadhaar Architecture

The architecture is based on open standards to ensure interoperability. Open-source technologies have been used wherever prudent. The entire system has been built using a multi-platform support including Linux and Microsoft Windows.

The Staged Event Driven Architecture (SEDA) allows smarter failure handling. The entire computing platform has been designed in a distributed manner. The system is highly asynchronous and uses a high speed messaging layer. The entire data is shared across RDBMS and DFS over the distributed platform.

Aadhaar Enrollment Rate Modeling

The entire project progress has been linked to the rate of enrollment of Aadhaar which has been duly modeled as a normal graph. The enrollment rate model gives a projection of the project progress which can be matched up with the real time ticker on the Aadhaar website.

On population, the Aadhaar database would be the largest database of its kind. The second such database would be at most one-tenth of what Aadhaar would become.

The biggest computational challenge would lie in the 1: N de-duplication which theoretically would mean that for an ID to be unique it has to be matched against 1 billion such entries into the Central ID Repository (CIDR) of Aadhaar.

Aadhaar Authentication

In order to authenticate a person, the system needs the 12 digit Aadhaar number along with any or all of the fingerprints & iris scan; demographic details and PIN/OTP.

Aadhaar is Standards Based The system in turn returns a binary response in yes or no. This ensures the privacy of an individual and lessens the computational burden on the system. The authentication API uses XML over HTTP(s). Enough transaction security and audit have been put in place.

Since the authentication is a read only operation, the entire database can be distributed. The Automated Biometric Identification Sub-systems are thereby being installed for quick authentication. Once operational, the system would be receiving some 100 million hits on a typical working day.

Visibility and Transparency

In order to ensure due visibility and transparency of the project, a public portal has been set up which showcases the real time rate of enrollment of Aadhaar. Individuals can also track the progress of their Aadhaar allotment. A partner portal has been set up whereby the progress of the various registrars and enrollment agency can be tracked.

Performance of various operators is evaluated and rated through this portal. A portal for developers has also been set up which provides the various development resources for application developers on top of Aadhaar.

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