Biometrics Expanding Horizons

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Navigating the complexities of life entails usage of an array of cards and passwords that confirm our identity, but there is always the risk of losing the card or forgetting the password. Such issues can be overcome with biometric systems, which recognise people on basis of distinctive anatomical and behavioural traits

Anoop Verma, Elets News Network (ENN)

Biometrics is being used to create foolproof identification records of large sections of the population. The database being created can be perused in seconds by an array of efficient systems. There is no doubt that in the coming years, such technologies will infiltrate further into our society. Biometric systems of identification might become as commonplace as the Internet and the GPS.

Laptops and mobile phones that can recognise a fingerprint or facial features, for instance, are commercially available. With continuous fall in the price of sensors and the advent of powerful microprocessors, it is certain that biometric technology will become more pervasive. The future of identification systems consists of inexpensive tools from the world of Biometrics – those that identify individuals based on unique biological characteristics like fingerprints, retinal patterns, voice, or facial features.

With biometric systems government agencies have a better chance of identifying and tracking individuals. This means that the subsidies and developmental funds can be targeted in a more efficient manner. The recipient of welfare payments can be properly identified. Anti-social elements can also be tracked by use of biometric tools. Law enforcement agencies are using these systems to identify and apprehend criminals and terrorists.

Many countries around the world have started providing their citizens with passports that are embedded with microprocessor chip that stores crucial private information such as biometrics as well as name, date and country of birth. Such e-Passports result in faster passport control at airports. With installation of systems capable of speed reading cards incorporated with biometric information, the waiting times can be cut drastically and much more data can be processed in shorter periods of time.

Government departments, as well as private companies are engaged in authoring Indian biometrics success story. In order to garner a comprehensive view on the biometric industry in the country, eGov interacted with government figures and with leaders of a select group of private companies. The responses that we have received enable us to develop a comprehensive overview of the business related and the sociological aspects of biometrics industry in the country.


Set up by the government of India on 28 January 2009, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is using state-of-the-art biometric systems to issue twelve digit unique identification numbers to citizens in hte country.The biometrics standards being used by UIDAI are framed by a Biometrics Standards Committee set up by the Authority. After reviewing international standards and current national recommendations, the Committee concluded that the ISO 19794 series of biometrics standards for fingerprints, face and iris set by the International Standards Organization are the most suitable.Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate, an attached office of the Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India, is providing quality assurance services in the area of Electronics and IT to the UIDAI.

Aadhar is “aam admi ka adhikar”

R S Sharma, Director General & Mission Director, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)Aadhar is a 12 digit random number. It has no intelligence of its own, but it can enable lot of intelligent applications to function with seamless efficiency. Every resident of this country is entitled to this number. Aadhar is “aam admi ka adhikar.” Essentially we are ensuring uniqueness of this number by collecting biometric attributes, ten fingerprints and both iris scans, of the citizens who come for enrolment. Even when a person comes with a different name, we will at the backend be able to capture that this person is already enrolled with us.Aadhar is for everybody. The biometric attributes are not fully developed in children, nevertheless, we give it to them also with the provision that when they become fifteen years old or more they should come and enrol with us. The thing is that we have not devised Aadhar as an application; we have devised it as a platform. Ultimately our thought is that there are lot of applications, including security applications that can ride on this platform.  The name Aadhar essentially means that it is a platform.

The main importance of Aadhar is that as it is based on biometric attributes, it ensures that there are no duplicates or fakes. When there is Aadhar, it means that there is a unique person, and it will ensure that the databases like NREGA, PDS and others will not be plagued by duplicates or fakes. Aadhar is most suited for stoppage of leakage at the last mile. Many people in the country do not have any ID at all, and as they lack a valid ID, they are unable to access formal systems of delivery. Aadhar will enable them to access the benefits that they are entitled to.

Maharashtra has Conducted 2.5 Crore UIDAI Enrolments

Santosh Bhogle, State Nodal Officer-UIDAI, DIT, Government of Maharashtra, spoke to egov regarding the progress of UIDAI initiative in the state. Tell us the progress of the UIDAI initiative in Maharashtra.The state of Maharashtra has generated nearly 2.5 crore UIDAI numbers. We have the second highest number of enrolments in India. The UIDAI project was launched in the state at the Tembli village in Nandurbar district in Maharashtra. The state has institutionalised the UIDAI project up to the taluka level. We have also made panchayat as an introducer to help villagers register for UIDAI. In Amravati 90 percent of the population has obtained UIDAI registration.

Tell us about your plans for making use of the Aadhar numbers.

We envision becoming a leader in rollout of UIDAI-based applications and citizen-centric services. As of now Maharashtra is the only state that is set to start Aadhar-based applications and services in its districts. Aadhar is being used as system of authentication for 8 pilot projects. Aadhar will ensure that our schemes and programmes reach the right beneficiary. We are working actively with PDS, social justice and welfare department. We are also developing systems for enabling the state’s education, healthcare, rural development and other departments to make use of Aadhar based identification. The aim of the UIDAI initiative is to ensure that each citizen of the state gets benefits and support that he is entitled to.

Biometrics will Lead to Profound Change

The future will bring more integrated approach to biometrics that blends technologies with business services to help citizens and governments manage issues related to social welfare, travel and trade in a more efficient manner.

Adarsh Parekh
Partner, Lead – Identity Management Services, Accenture, talks about the future of biometrics

How do you view the field of biometrics?

Biometrics is presenting new opportunities for private and government organisations to excel. With increased mobility and the societal shift toward online activities, biometrics technologies are being used to provide more robust forms of authentication. There is a growing acceptance of biometric recognition technologies in our daily lives and this acceptance will grow with time. In the coming months and years, Accenture believes businesses and governments alike will introduce biometric authentication technologies into many of their operations to enable secure and targeted access to services, thereby driving social and financial inclusion while simultaneously ensuring that services are received by genuine beneficiaries, drive efficiencies, and increase public safety and security.

Tell us about the biometric solutions that you are currently providing.

In 2010 Accenture launched an innovative large scale biometric identity matching solution designed to help public service agencies enrol and accurately verify the identity of individuals, whether for the purposes of detecting potential national security threats or for improving the delivery of government assistance programmes and social services to eligible citizens. Accenture’s large scale matching solution (“SMOTA”) enables the timely and accurate identification of individuals while reducing the costs of identity assurance for large populations. The solution is able to de-duplicate all available biometric data. It is highly secure, flexible, built on proven, open standards, and significantly scalable when deployed to a cloud platform. Accenture has also been deploying globally our Automated Border Clearance (ABC) solution, which presents an opportunity for border management authorities to increase security and create efficiencies in providing secure access to bona fide travellers.

You are one of the key partners in the UIDAI initiative of the government. Please tell us about the role that you are playing in the enrolment process.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has awarded a contract to Accenture in 2010 to implement the core biometric identification system in support of the “Aadhaar” programme Under the terms of this initial contract, which will run up to two years or until 200 million enrollments (whichever comes first), Accenture will build a new system to help manage identity-related de-duplication and verification requests from both public and private organisations. Accenture will also assist UIDAI in performance benchmarking and management of data quality for continuous improvement of the biometric solution, in addition to operating and maintaining the system.

What is the size of the biometrics market in India? What steps are you taking to improve your market share?

Considering the government’s large-scale nation-wide deployment of Aadhaar and NPR, alongside growing national and personal security concerns, the biometrics market in India is poised for tremendous growth. We believe the primary spurt for growth will come when we start using biometrics to curb fraud. Ns numerous government services, like Public Distribution System, will require biometric based authentication prior to provision of services and funding to the concerned citizen.

How are the biometric systems evolving?

The Accenture Technology Vision 2011 report has highlighted how biometrics is evolving from a high-security, specialist technology to the primary tool for high-volume applications with a strong identity requirement—for
instance, provision of government benefits, voting, border control, or police applications.

Tell us about the new biometric solutions that Accenture has developed?

Accenture Technology Labs, the technology research and development arm of Accenture, has developed the “face in the crowd” solution. We foresee an increase in the use of passive facial recognition technologies such as ‘Face in the Crowd,’ which can work at distance and do not require close camera interaction or the physical interaction of subjects. These will be very important for public safety.

The Rise of Biometrics Industry

HCL Infosystems, the flagship company of the HCL enterprise, had in 1994 a turnover of Rs. 400.6 crores (USD 85 million), which underwent tremendous growth to become Rs. 10,901 crores (USD 2.4 billion) today. Employing more than 7600 people, the company has today emerged as the country’s information-enabling powerhouse. APS Bedi, Executive Vice President, HCL Infosystems, spoke to egov on the rising importance of the biometric industry.

APS Bedi
Executive Vice President, HCL Infosystems

Tell us about the biometric solutions that HCL Infosystems is developing?

At HCL Infosystems we have been implementing various Biometric based solutions – from the very basic Access and Identity Management Systems, to the very high-end AFIS – Automatic Fingerprint Identification System. Currently some of our key solutions using Biometrics include Integrated Multi-Location attendance tracking for Government schools/offices; Biometric based Smart card solutions for Government’s National AIDS Control Project (NACO); MNREGA Worker’s card; Public Distribution System (PDS); Identity and Access Solutions at Border Check-post; mobile portable kits/stations for enrolment; mobile hand-held terminals for authentication. We have partnered multiple banks for rolling out Financial Inclusion schemes across multiple districts. Through our biometric devices and solutions, we have been offering service solutions to cater to a wide range of HR & security needs.

What is the size of the biometrics market in India?

Biometrics is becoming one the fastest emerging technologies in the Indian market with increased usage in various Government and non-Government projects ranging from applications in driving license to security needs of organisations. According to a report by Frost & Sullivan, the Indian Biometric Market earned revenues of INR 5.43 billion from the combined sale of biometric readers and cards in 2009 and is estimated this to reach INR 52.55 billion in 2015.

What factors can cause biometric security systems to fail?

Even as the biometric solutions are being deployed aggressively across multiple projects, these systems are not entirely failure-proof. The biometrics process involves a one to one comparison of previously stored data (like hand geometry measurements or retina scans) with a live person’s corresponding attribute. Failure can be due to poor quality of scan or even a hardware problem. The solution lies in having the right technological solutions, which are also scalable and future ready.

How do we ensure that the security of the biometric data that has been collected?

All Biometric systems use highest form of authentication, and hence they can’t be easily accessed by hackers/intruders. As with any fast growing industry, biometrics also has to adapt to technological changes. To enhance security, the systems have to be updated constantly. Any solutions in this space have to take into consideration issues like interoperability and future readiness.

Is it possible for us to have biometric security system in which we don’t have to touch something or even look deeply into a camera?
Facial recognition systems that are deployed at airports and some other installations use technology that does not require physical touching. Facial images are picked from a distance using cameras, and then fed into a search engine for identification.

What is the future of biometric solutions? What kind of biometric devices will we have, let’s say, 10 years from today?

Biometric solutions are a fast growing technology and are gaining fast acceptance in e-Governance projects and also for security & surveillance needs. Moving forward, various organisations, both Private and Public Sector, are expected to embed biometrics in their security solutions, whereby authentications will be established through fingerprint, iris, facial and possibly voice, Palm-Vein technologies or a combination of these to create a robust security system. The need to remember multiple passwords will then get redundant.

Tell us about the e-Governance projects that you are involved with?

Some of the large-scale e-Governance Projects in which HCL Infosystems is participating include – PAWAN (Punjab State Wide Area Network), State Data Centres, Common Service Centres, e-Governance in Districts (e-District) and Municipalities (e-Municipality), Panchayats, e-Governance in Public Distribution System (Chandigarh-UT and State of Madhya Pradesh), and various other SMART Card initiatives like NACO, MNREGS etc.

Passport Seva KendrasTata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software exporter, has entered into a partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), and is engaged in providing end-to-end solutions for the Passport Sewa Kendras. Biometric details of the applicants are captured during the issuance of passports. It was in October 2008 that TCS bagged Passport Seva Project from the MEA. According to TCS, of the 77 Passport Seva Kendras to be set up, 50 have gone live across the country. Once the project has been fully implemented, the Ministry expects that the process of issuing a new passport will be completed in three working days, while passports issued under the Tatkal scheme will be dispatched on the same day.

Biometrics in Passports

Tanmoy Chakrabarty, Head, Government Industry Solutions, TCS, spoke to egov magazine about the functioning of the Passport Sewa Kendras (PSK)

Tanmoy Chakrabarty
Head, Government Industry Solutions, TCS

Tell us about the Passport Seva Project and other e-Governance projects in which you are involved.

Passport Seva Project uses fingerprint biometric as part of the passport application.  Fingerprint biometric is useful in identifying duplicate applications. Other e-Governance projects include implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Scheme in state of Andhra Pradesh, MPOnline, Mahaonline, MCA21, Aarogyasri Health, etc.

What kind of biometric solutions will you provide at the Passport Seva Kendras?

We will soon start using fingerprint biometric software for identifying duplicate applications.  This will minimise the possibility of one applicant applying for multiple passports.  The fingerprint technology will detect duplicates based on the physiological characteristics of the applicant rather than demographic information. We are not planning to store iris scan, face scan or other biometrics. Only fingerprints are being considered.

What factors can cause biometric security systems to fail?

It is possible that applicant may be physically disabled.  In addition, fingerprint minutiae may be worn out in case of labourers.  Almost all biometric technologies have possibility of “False Acceptance” and “False Rejection”.  In such cases, manual intervention is required.

What is the size of the biometrics market in India?

Usage of biometrics is becoming increasing common in the country. Biometrics based applications such as “Employee Attendance System” are being used by Delhi MCD. We are also having very sensitive applications such as Electronic Passports with embedded smart chip, which contains fingerprint of the passport holders.  These days it has become a norm for sensitive locations to have some kind of biometric based access control systems. Largest implementation of this biometrics technology is in UIDAI project, in which fingerprint and iris scan are being used to further enhance the authentication process.

What is the rate of obsolesce in the biometrics industry?

Rather than obsolescence, technologies keep evolving to reduce possibility of “False Acceptance” and “False Rejection”.  For this, more sophisticated mathematical algorithms will keep evolving.  It is important to select a technology vendor that has the financial and technological strength to keep implementing newer technologies.

How do we ensure the security of the biometric data being collected?

Generally, biometric de-duplication process is a back-end function. It is isolated from external access and from public networks.  In addition, only authorised officials are involved in collection of biometric information. The bottom line is that we have enough security systems in place to safeguard the data.

What is the future of biometric solutions?

There is massive surge in demand for biometric solutions in India and other parts of the world.  For instance, some countries are providing their citizens with electronic passport, which is capable of storing biometric data. Biometric solutions are being used to improve the security situation of many of our installations. Some airports have started implementing biometrics such as fingerprints and iris. UIDAI and NPR are using biometrics to create a more secure system of identification.

e-Passports for all CitizensAmarendra Khatua
Joint Secretary (PV), Ministry of External Affairs“Diplomats and officials already have e-Passports in the country. We are planning to introduce e-Passports for all citizens. Secondly, any foreigner coming to India will have to provide biometric identification through the IVFRT system. The pilot project for Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration & Tracking (IVFRT), has already started in London and Bangladesh,” Amarendra Khatua, Joint Secretary (PV), Ministry of External Affairs.

Biometrics in Devices 

Biometrics is a technology that identifies the user based on the physical or behavioural traits like user’s irises, voice or fingerprints. Companies like Canon have an array of biometric based products in both consumer and business segments.

Dr Alok Bharadwaj
Senior Vice President, Canon India, talks about the prospects for biometrics and other aspects of electronic manufacturing services in the country

What is the next milestone for Canon as far as the Indian operations are concerned?

India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, provides enormous growth opportunities for Canon India. We are aiming to become No 1 in at least 5 categories and be a $ 1 billion company by year 2015. Canon is already No 1 in Copier MFD category and close No 2 in most of other categories.

Your views on being featured in’s list of top 100 people influencing global electronics manufacturing services (EMS) for the year 2012.

I would like to expand the EMS industry by identifying and creating business drivers. My wish is to make the industry more competitive and attractive to investors. This in turn will create more jobs and lead to economic growth. I would like to make some contribution towards the society at large by ensuring that the deployment of ICT is for everyone’s benefit and empowerment. The industry needs to take steps for ensuring that e-waste does not topple the applecart.

Tell us about the role you play in MAIT (Manufacturers Association of IT)?

I recently took over as President of MAIT (Manufacturers Association of IT), an industry association looking after the interests of the Rs 70,000 Cr IT hardware industry. I also took over as Chairman of CII-OA & Imaging Division. My role in ‘EMS’ is to work towards creation of policy framework that can help make India a beneficiary of the next wave of global investments in electronic manufacturing. Thailand, Japan, China, Vietnam etc. are huge players in EMS segment and there is no dearth of opportunities for India.

As MAIT president, I am attempting to create a platform for launch of a global event in India in 2012. The event will bring to light India’s capability for excellence in the field of electronics, and it will also lead to an informed discussion on the industry’s expectations from the government.

Tell us about how biometric systems are being used in your cameras, printers, projectors and other devices?

Canon has various products with biometric system both in consumer and business segment. The consumer products come with face ID registration in which the camera registers “face,” “name” and “birth date (age).” Our MFDs are equipped with innovative solutions like Uniflow, which allow users to securely collect print jobs with fingerprint recognition system.

Why are many devices makers offering biometric solutions for logging into their devices?

Reliable user authentication is essential. A password can be shared, and so there is no way for the system to know who the actual user is. A properly designed biometric system will always be more secure than a password system.

With changing technology, do you fear some of your technologies could become obsolete? What are you doing to ensure that your systems are always up to date?

Biometrics is not a new idea. Fingerprinting started in late 1960, after that there came systems for iris scan and face recognition etc. Over a period of time, the biometric technologies will certainly evolve and become more mature. At Canon we take constant endeavours to ensure that our technologies are up to date.

What according to you are the main benefits of biometric solutions?

Biometric technology is here to stay. In the UIDAI initiative, our government is spending massive amounts of money to accumulate biometric data of citizens. Departments like passport offices and transport authorities regularly make use of biometric systems. Canon has developed devices that can identify the user through his fingerprints.

Biometrics everywhere – from temples to UIDAI

The emergence of biometric solutions has to a large extent reduced the risk of fraud with duplicate key or lost key. When used in conjunction with RFID or barcode technology, biometric solutions can significantly increase security and provide multi-fold advantages.

Prashant Deshpande
Manager Corporate, Bartronics India Ltd, talks about the scope of the biometric systems that Bartronics India is providing

Tell us about the biometric solutions that you are providing.

During implementation, a Biometric system will operate in verification mode or identification mode. Verification (Am I who I claim I am?) involves confirming or denying a person’s claimed identity. On the other hand, in identification, the system has to recognise a person (Who am I?) from a list of N users in the template database. Identification is a more challenging problem because it involves 1:N matching compared to 1:1 matching for verification. Using this basic feature of the technology Bartronics provides solutions in wide range of applications like Time & Attendance, Access Control, Data Security, and Queue Management etc.

Tell us about the solution you have provided at Tirupathi temple.

When we implemented the project at Lord Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala, Tirupathi, it was the largest such project in the country. The project is aimed at managing the huge number of pilgrims. On peak days the number of pilgrims can be as high as 300000. We have used a combination of technologies – barcode and fingerprints with image-logging – to eliminate the need for the pilgrims to stand in long queues.

Tell us about the role that you are playing in UIDAI enrolment process.

The company has collaborated with many registrars to the project as an enrolment partner where in we enrol the citizens of the identified region and issue them the Unique Number as per the guidelines laid by the authority.

What is the size of the biometrics market in India?

According to most analysts, the market size of biometric solutions is in the range Rs. 3500 cr to Rs. 10000 cr. Only a fraction of this estimated market is currently being addressed.  The size of the market has increased mainly due to initiatives like the UIDAI.

What kind of growth are you eyeing in the coming financial year?

The company has made investments in many large scale prestigious projects. The year ahead looks very exciting and promising for us as these projects have achieved certain stage of completion and are expected to generate revenues from Q1FY13.  The company’s international operations too are fairly young and are showing lot of traction. With improved business environment, we expect the company to regain the same growth momentum as in the past.  We expect the company to grow its bottom line by about 15 percent when compared to the current financial year.

Banking on BiometricsHitesh Rajwanshi
Director & CEO, Digitals India Security Products Pvt Ltd

Tell us about the biometric solutions that you are providing?

We are solution providers and system integrators. We are currently providing Biometric Access Control solutions. Banks are our largest customers. They use our systems for enhancing the security of their secure areas, where currency is stored. The Banks currently using our access control systems include the likes of Allahabad Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Dena Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Syndicate Bank, Punjab National Bank, Corporation Bank, UCO Bank Etc.
What is the market share of the biometric systems in the overall access control industry in the country?

It is difficult to say for sure, as there are lot of marginal players in the market. However, my own assumption is that the Biometric Access Control in India should not be more then 15 percent of the total Access Control Industry. The biometric systems that we have at present are not foolproof. In winters, the impression on the fingers contracts and in summers it expands. Moreover, the children below the age of 14 years and the older person above the age of 65 years are prone to changes in their finger impression with each passing time.
What factors can cause biometric security systems to fail?

Biometric systems can fail due to any of the following reasons –

•    Restriction on user registrations
•    Non-creating of proper templates
•    Limitation on the data storage and back up options
•    Dust, heat and mishandling on the finger sensor film
Smart CardsDr Sreeni Tripuraneni
Chairman & CEO, 4G Identity Solutions

Tell us about 4G Identity Solution’s plans for Indian market.

4Gid specialises in providing end-to-end biometric based Identity Management Solutions to government and private entities. We are playing a key role in creating applications that are based on UIDAI’s Aadhaar.
Tell us about biometric solutions that you have developed for use of government departments – for Public Service Delivery Infrastructure, Public Distribution System, and Welfare & Entitlement.

4Gid has created Aadhaar based CORE PDS (Public Distribution System) for Chhattisgarh government. Our Public Distribution System framework is designed to eliminate fake or ghost ration cards and ensure that the subsidy reaches the right people. More such applications are going to come from us in near future. 4Gid has also created a public service infrastructure delivery framework through which government can provide all services to its citizen through a single window.
What are the main features of your National ID Solutions? Tell us about your microchip-enabled smart-cards.

Our National ID Solutions have features like multi-biometric enrolment of citizens, PKI encrypted data communication to secure biometric data transfer and much else. By integrating Smart Card and biometric technologies, 4Gid provides secure Personal Identification Systems that support a wide variety of usage scenarios.
Biometrics for Access ControlDeepak Gulgulia
Executive Director, Spectra Technovision (India) Pvt LtdTell us about your biometric solutions?We have presence in almost all the sectors of the industry. We offer biometric devices for Attendance, Access Control, Visitor Management and Canteen Management. Our biometric solutions are devised keeping mind all sectors of the industry. The list of our customers includes private companies, as well as government organisations.What are the main features of your Access Control, visitor management solutions?For Access Control, we offer NetXSControl, which is used for employee management, movement monitoring and controlling user access. Our Visitor Management solution is designed to facilitate controls over the accessibility to confidential areas within an establishment.
Vigorous Demand for Biometrics

Jatin Desai
Product Engineer-Security Products, Matrix Comsec Pvt Ltd

Tell us about your access control solutions?

Matrix COSEC is a state-of-the- art Access Control System, designed to provide comprehensive Access Control and Time Attendance solution for small, medium and large enterprises. This versatile solution comes with a Web-based Management Software that can monitor and control up to 1000 locations, 10,000 doors and 1 Million users in real-time. We are receiving a good response from the security market.

How do you design and develop new products for different consumer segments?

We make an in depth study of the needs of our users before we develop new products.  Consumers like Small Retail Shops, Private Offices and Clinics mostly demand products that have simple functionalities. However, large establishments require sophisticated devices with advanced features and functions. We are targeting banks, financial institutes, shopping malls, corporates, hospitality industry, healthcare segment, and government departments for our products.

How is the biometric market in India developing?

The demand for biometric security solutions in India is vigorous today and is expected to accelerate in future. There is immense potential. Overall market size is increasing day-by-day, as customers are getting aware of the efficiency and security that can come in by installation of biometric systems.

Transforming IndustryBrij Mohan Mandala
Director, Avid Software Solutions (I) Pvt Ltd“The emergence of Biometrics has changed the face of business prospects in private and public segments.  At the bottom of every operation, sees process improvisation, tracking, tracing and accountability using biometric & RFID solutions in the larger sense. In government projects, there is now talk of all welfare schemes being channelled through process of biometric identification.”

Biometrics can be used for Electronic Service Delivery

Roy Mathew, Senior Vice President / Business Head – e-Governance, IL&FS ETS Ltd

IL&FS ETS, a noted player in the infrastructure, education and financial inclusion space, is participating in many e-Governance initiatives.   Roy Mathew, Senior Vice President / Business Head – e-Governance, IL&FS ETS Ltd, spoke to egov about the prominent role that the company expects to play in the e-Governance space.

Give us an overview of the e-Governance projects in which you are participating.

We are consultants in key NeGP Mission Mode Projects like SSDG and CCTNS. We are also involved with many state government projects. We are consultants for Directorate General of Employment & Training, Ministry of Labour and Employment and Directorate of Employment & Self Employment (DE&SE), Government of Maharashtra. We also have a very strong team for internet connectivity programme management which monitors over 13700 Points of Services in Panchayats of Government of Gujarat.  We are programme managers for Biometric Attendance and Computer Aided Learning Systems (BACALS) project of the Government of Gujarat. Also, we are implementing E-Municipality programme and Computerisation of PACS in some of the States. Financial Inclusion is one of the key focus areas and we work closely with Central Bank of India in three States.

You are one of the key partners in the UIDAI initiative. Please tell us about the role that you are playing in the enrolment process in the state.

On behalf of UIDAI, IL&FS has been carring out enrollments in 23 States/UTs in the country. We are engaged with major banks and other entities that are serving as UIDAI Central Registrars –  Bank of Baroda, Allahabad Bank, Central Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce,Department of Posts and with State Registrars of Jharkhand Urban Development Department, Rural Development Department, Food & Civil Supplies Departments of Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. IL&FS has enrolled close to 1 Crore residents and we are getting ready for the Phase II of the implementation process.

Please tell us about the revenues that you are making from UIDAI.

IL&FS has done enrolments of close to 1 Crore residents. We envisage having revenues in tune of Rs.120 Crores during the term of the project.

What is the size of the biometrics market in India? What steps are you taking to improve your market share?

Biometrics is one of the fastest growing technology segments in the country. The sector is primarily being fuelled by the UIDAI initiative. Biometric based Financial Inclusion programmes spearheaded by various banks and increased adoption of biometrics in time and attendance systems, access control system, is also leading to growth. As per an analysis of Frost & Sullivan, Indian Biometric Market (combined sale of biometric readers and cards) was about INR 5.43 billion 2009 and estimates this to reach INR 52.55 billion in 2015. We are tying up with OEMs of biometric enabled devices in India and overseas and building online and offline applications together with various partners. IL&FS ETS will aggressively focus in all segments of biometrics.

How important are biometric solutions for secure identification of employees and visitors at power plants, airports?

We need to verify the Identity of all personnel who have access to critical service areas.  Due to rise in security concerns, governments and enterprises are adopting biometric access controls. The emerging biometric market will comprise of face, iris, vein, and voice recognition systems.

What kind of role do IT solutions have to play in better management of large infrastructure projects?

IT has a seminal role to play in successful and cost effective implementation of any large project. Large projects are spread across a number of States and timely flow of information and control sheets of project deliverables is absolutely necessary to ensure that the projects are compliant to the Service Level Agreements. We deploy systems that relay alerts and automated reports for monitoring the projects.  It is important that we have concurrent view of the progress reported by every key team members for cost effective and fully compliant implementations.

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