UIDAI Current Affairs - 2019

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UIDAI makes face recognition feature mandatory for Aadhaar authentication

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced new measure to make facial recognition mandatory for every authentication that requires Aadhaar. The facial recognition will come as additional feature along withregular authentication process that includes identification of an individual based on fingerprints or eye scans.

Key Facts

This new measure for using facial recognition is being implemented following official circulars issued by UIDAI to Authentication Service Agencies, Authentication User Agencies and certified biometric device providers. It is being used to provide additional security layer and also make Aadhaar process more inclusive. This process will be rolled out in phased manner and it will be initially mandated for providers of SIM cards of telecom service providers (TSPs). The telecom operators have been directed that at least 10% of their total monthly authentication transactions should be performed using facial recognition from September 15, 2018.


The most common services that require Aadhaar authentication include issuance of mobile SIM cards, banks verification, public distribution system (PDS) and office attendance at government offices. There have been numerous instances where people have been excluded from Aadhaar authentication as their fingerprints were worn out due to old age or because of being involved in manual labour or agriculture. The use of facial recognition will help include such people in Aadhaar authentication process.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

UIDAI is nodal statutory organization behind Aadhaar, a 12 digit unique number. It was granted statutory status by Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016. Aadhaar is 10 digit number is linked with an individual’s demographic and biometric information, which serves as an authentication tool throughout India. Using Aadhaar, Union and State Governments are trying to link many of their major development and subsidy schemes to reduce leakages and duplication.

Month: Categories: Governance & Politics


UIDAI announces phased rollout of face authentication

Aadhaar-issuing body UIDAI (Unique Identity Authority of India) has announced phased roll-out of face recognition for carrying out Aadhaar authentication from September 15, 2018 as additional security layer. It also has announced new feature ‘live face photo,’ which is live feed of person facial features whose 12-digit unique number Aadhaar is submitted.

Face recognition

The face authentication will be in addition to fingerprint or iris scans for Aadhaar authentication. In initial phase, telecom service providers (TSPs) will be first to use face recognition to authenticate subscribers while issuing new SIM cards. In later phases, it will be rolled out to all agencies using Aadhaar for authentication in phases.


This move is aimed at curbing possibility of fingerprint cloning or spoofing and also seeks to tighten audit process and security around the issuance and activation of mobile SIMs. It will also help to solve authentication problem for those who have issues regarding fingerprint and iris scan. Fingerprints wear out either with person’s old age or due to jobs such as heavy manual labour.

Directions to TSPs

UIDAI has directed TSPs to target at least 10% of their total monthly authentication transactions using face authentication. Any shortfall in transactions using face authentication will be charged at Rs 0.20 per transaction. It will be responsibility of TSPs to verify live photo captured using face authentication at their backend system with photo received in eKYC (electronic know your customer) before activation of SIM. TSP will store both photos in its database for audit purpose.

Month: Categories: Governance & Politics