UIDAI organizes Workshop on ‘Recent Initiatives for Simplifying Aadhaar usage’

Deliberations on major advances in Aadhaar and best practices were shared by State/UT Governments

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) organized a Workshop on ‘Recent Initiatives for Simplifying Aadhaar usage’ on 1st June 2022 at Vigyan Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi. The event focused on sharing key developments and best practices in Aadhaar Usage adopted by various departments of the State/UT Governments. The event witnessed attendance of eminent personalities viz. Sh. Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog, Shri Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary MeitY, Shri TV Somanathan, Finance Secretary, Dr Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser, DST and Dr. Saurabh Garg, CEO, UIDAI  along with other dignitaries from State/UT and Centre Governments.

Aadhaar has forever changed the digital landscape of the country by building the Aadhaar based authentication and verification infrastructure. There are many Aadhaar innovations steered by State/UT government schemes using Aadhaar Platform which have shown the potential of being a game changer in achieving financial and social inclusion at grass root level.

In current times, Digital identity based systems play a pivotal role in the social and economic growth of any society. Aadhaar has proven to be one of India’s most important innovations. Aadhaar has given identity to a vast number of people who previously had none. It has bridged the digital divide by enabling e-KYC services, providing banking at the doorstep and through mobile phones, and facilitating cash transfer directly into the bank accounts of the needy and deserving recipients of the government’s numerous welfare initiatives.

On this occasion Sh. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said that Aadhaar has played a critical role in bridging the digital divide empowering beneficiaries, bringing transparency and saving a vast sum of public money with the support of State/UT governments. Aadhaar is not only the bedrock of various government schemes and service deliveries to more than 350 central and 500 State/UT schemes but has also made monumental exemplary impact on the digitization of public infrastructure which has enabled more inclusive development.   He also added that UPI along with this massive digital infrastructure creates a “unique opportunity” for this futuristic technology to be leveraged to enhance transparency and improve governance.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri TV Somanathan, Finance Secretary said that India has a rich legacy in science, technology, and innovation. We believe that India’s path forward will be driven by achieving world-class scientific solutions. The role of Aadhaar in the PDS schemes is one of the legendary examples. He also applauded that we, as Indians, must be proud of the fact that Aadhaar was created by us, not copied from the western world; and proof of being one of the most successful biometric programmes in the world.

Shri Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary MeitY lauded the efforts of UIDAI and presented the roadmap ahead. He said that today as a country, we are standing at the cusp of another transformation. More than 133 Crore Aadhaars have been issued as on April 2022 with 99.9% plus of the adult population in the country enrolled by Aadhaar. From farmers to students, almost every resident of India is benefiting from Aadhaar receiving both government and non- government related services. Let us join hands together to play a stellar role in achieving the goal of making India a 1 trillion digital economy in the next five years.

Dr. Saurabh Garg, CEO, UIDAI, spoke about Aadhaar’s success over the last decade and the numerous opportunities made possible by using Aadhaar as a fundamental identity in sectors such as DBT, Education, scholarships, fintech, healthcare, etc. He also discussed the various untapped sectors and gaps that can be exploited by using Digital Identity to reach the last mile of users and achieve universal inclusion, both social and financial,

He further shared that going forward the focus of UIDAI will be on following five major areas-

  1. Resident centricity and Ease of Access
  2. Enhancing Aadhaar usage
  3. Strengthening the credibility of Aadhaar
  4. upgradation of the Aadhaar technology stack
  5. International outreach of Aadhaar architecture

The event showcased the functioning of the Aadhaar Ecosystem and good practices followed by State/UT Government Ministries utilizing the Aadhaar Platform, for different schemes like, ePOCRA, ARPANA, KALIA, FDS, DBT Schemes, etc.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser DST highlighted the significant milestones achieved by digital India and stressed that technology today enables access to better services for education, health care, finance, agriculture fields. It also helps ensure transparency and accountability and Aadhaar plays an important role here. He reiterated that the advances in AI/ML technologies, especially deep learning for image analysis and pattern matching, have enabled success in different modes of biometric matching especially, accuracy and speed have increased drastically. These niche areas should be utilized by UIDAI in sync with State/UT Governments for more impactful coverage and improved access at mass scale.

Dr Saurabh Garg in closing address reiterated about UIDAI’s commitment to work closely with Researchers, academic institutions, industry and start-ups to improve aadhar services offering by upgrading and adopting niche technology available in terms of hardware, software and application stack. He welcomed various suggestions and initiatives proposed by speakers and invitees on the future of Aadhaar based platform which shall be valuable for States in times to come.

The workshop concluded with a vote of appreciation to the Chair, speakers, and attendees, as well as a commitment to collaborate with State/UT government departments to provide multiple avenues of growth in State/UT based schemes with an overall aim to provide easy access and simplify residents’ lives through the use of Aadhaar.