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UIDAI introduces new Encryption Key in Aadhaar authentication devices

Aadhaar authentication devices are to be upgraded with new encryption standards set by UIDAI from June 1

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Aadhar Card, Source: Aadhar Card Kendra

New Delhi, Mar 19, 2017: All devices using Aadhaar authentication to meet the new encryption standards set by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) from June 1, this year.

Through this move, the UIDAI aims to add yet another layer of security to the hardware at a time when all such devices are ready to take the centre stage in biometric-based digital payments.

“We have recently come out with new specifications and asked manufacturers and vendors to go for STQC certification as per the new standards. We have advised that from June 1, they should get devices on the new specifications and that the existing devices should be upgraded to the new norms,” Ajay Bhutan Pandey, CEO of UIDAI.

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The UIDAi is responsible for providing each resident of India an Aadhaar, which is an unique 12-digit identification number identifying residents based on their biometrics. While more than 112 crore Aadhaar have been generated in the country, the Aadhaar authentications have crossed 500 crore, and 100 crore e-KYC have been done on the platform, mentioned PTI report.

A finger print scanning device to enable biometric authentication; Source: VOA

Pandey specified that only those devices that choose to use Aadhaar authentication, would be required to adhere to the new standards. Only such “registered devices” would be allowed to carry out Aadhaar authentication after incorporating the new specifications.

“We are continuously trying to tighten the security. We felt that while the system is secure, we want to further improve the security by building one more layer. So, if the device itself can be encrypted it will be harder to break into the system,” he said.

Putting it simply, he said that presently, two locks exist- one at the agency level and another at the UIDAI. The new system will add a third locking system on the biometric device itself.

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Pandey further said that UIDAI has been negotiating with the manufacturers of the device for about a year and half for execution of the new specifications.

During this period, the Aadhaar has seen its figures rise steeply in terms of both, authentication and enrolment. The daily Aadhaar authentication figures stand at approximately 2 crore today, against 10 lakhs about a year and a half ago.

“Unless they see demand, no manufacturer will manufacture as per your specification. Now manufacturers too are showing interest. They know when they make specially designed biometric fingerprint scanner for Aadhaar and put another lock as per UIDAI’s requirement, it will sell in the market. Hence, they are open to the idea,” Pandey said.

– Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

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Gujarat becomes First state in the country for establishing Cashless distribution of Food grain

In a meeting with Paswan in January, state food ministers agreed to make arrangements to establish the cashless system in the PDS by March 31

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Cashless
Food grains, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Feb 8, 2017: Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on Wednesday congratulated Gujarat on becoming the first state in the country for establishing the cashless distribution of food grain.

According to a release, the minister also lauded the efforts of the Gujarat government for installing Aadhaar Enabled Payment System in 17,250 Fair Price Shops (FPS) much before the target, March 31.

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“The beneficiaries under NFSA (National Food Security Act) will need to carry only Aadhaar cards for getting their food grain in Gujarat. This will help in establishing the identity of beneficiaries, help in stopping the leakages of grain at shop level and above all eradicate corruption in the Public Distribution System (PDS),” reads the release.

In a meeting with Paswan in January, state food ministers agreed to make arrangements to establish the cashless system in the PDS by March 31.

According to the ministry, Gujarat has taken a step ahead by partnering with common service centres, a Special Purpose Vehicle of Ministry of Electronics and IT, by offering 30-odd digital services through the FPSs.

“Now a consumer will also be able to get his Rail, air and bus ticket reserved at the FPS itself. A beneficiary can pay his mobile bill, a farmer can deposit crop insurance premium, LIC premium etc. at these centres,” reads the release.

“A farmer can get the Soil Health Card and registration for Centrally Sponsored Schemes.”

The release said that Gujarat government was also trying to make provision for monthly bus travel pass for students and payment of electricity bill through these shops. (IANS)

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Reserve Bank of India (RBI) relaxes Authentication Norms for Online Card Payments up to Rs 2,000

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Reserve Bank of India. VOA

Mumbai, Dec 6, 2016: In a bid to ease online card payments, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday relaxed the authentication norms for payments up to Rs 2,000.

“To meet the objective of customer convenience with sufficient security for low value transactions, the card-issuing banks will offer the payment authentication solutions of the respective card networks to their customers on an optional basis,” RBI said in a statement here.

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Customers opting for this facility will go through a one-time registration process requiring entry of card details and additional factor of authentication by the issuing bank. Thereafter, the registered customers will not be required to re-enter the card details for every transaction at merchant locations that offer this solution and, thereby, save time and effort.

The card details already registered would be the first factor while the credentials used to login to the solution (as confirmed by the card network providing the solution) would be the additional factor of authentication.

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“The relaxation for additional factor of authentication under such solutions shall be applicable for card-not-present transactions for a maximum value of Rs 2,000 per transaction across all merchant categories. Banks and card networks are free to facilitate their customers to set lower per transaction limits,” it said.

Only authorised card networks shall provide such payment authentication solutions with participation of card-issuing and -acquiring banks, it added.

“Customer consent shall be taken while making this solution available to them,” RBI said. (IANS)

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UN: India’s Unique Identification Programme Aadhaar is a “Critical” step in Enabling Fairer Access

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Adhaar Card. adharcardstatusonline.com

December 1, 2016: “India’s unique identification programme Aadhaar is a critical step in enabling fairer access to government services and has “tremendous potential” for fostering inclusion,” according to a UN report.

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The 2016 Report on the World Social Situation, released by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said, “The decision of India in 2010 to launch the Aadhaar programme to enrol the biometric identifying data of all its 1.2 billion citizens was a critical step in enabling fairer access of the people to government benefits and services.”

The report, released on Wednesday said that the programmes such as Aadhaar have “tremendous potential to foster inclusion” by giving all people, which includes the poorest and most marginalised, an official identity.

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“Fair and robust systems of legal identity and birth registration are recognised in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as an important foundation for promoting inclusive societies,” it said.

More than 108.27 crore Aadhaar numbers has already been issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to the residents of India.

The report includes, “ Key new findings about persisting inequalities in education and economic opportunity and, challenges the international community to work harder to break down barriers to participation.”

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It said, around 40 per cent of the world’s population does not have access to education in a language they understand.

It further added that the children of ethnic minorities and disabled people are much less likely to finish their primary and secondary educations, it added.

by NewsGram team with PTI inputs