Government authorities in India have now tied access to subsidized grain rations to enrollment in Aadhaar, the country’s national biometric ID program.
The directive was issued by the Department of Food and Consumer Affairs this week and applies across the country, with the exception of Assam, Jammu, Kashmir, and Meghalaya. Individuals seeking to access the food rations must present either their Aadhaar cards or copies of documentation pertaining to Aadhaar applications.
The move will affect many people. As Deccan Herald reports, the ration program, initiated last November by way of the National Food Security Act, is available to 800 million people in the country. But it could ultimately help to significantly reduce waste and graft in the subsidy program by tying access directly to citizens’ ID credentials, which can be authenticated biometrically.
The NFSA food ration measure follows soon after a similar measure was introduced tying Aadhaar enrolment to subsidies for rural farmers.
February 10, 2017 – by Alex Perala