Present the SWOT analysis of Aadhar Enabled Biometric Identification Systems with respect to benefit of transfers in all government schemes. Are there any better alternatives? Discuss.

Published: November 13, 2017

Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Identification systems have come to cripple the life of many in marginalised sections as it is a pre-requisite at every electronic point of sale to authenticate all transactions. This has come in wake of the government orders of making seeding and Aadhaar-Based Biometric Authentication mandatory in PDS.
SWOT analysis:

  • Strength: This has led the government to identify real beneficiaries and helped to plug leakages in the system. Also, this has proved a strict yardstick to check corruption at the distribution centres.
  • Weaknesses: ABBA requires a constant power supply, a Point of Sale machine which is completely functional along with mobile and internet connectivity, State and Central Identities Data Repository CIDR servers to be up and running for successful authentication of fingerprints. However, the absence of any of these leads to a mismatch and denial of PDS to the poor and starving. The vulnerable sections are thus also subject to many hurdles for getting PDS grain. There have been cases of people dying of starvation in wait of PDS grains just for the absence of Aadhaar or ABBA. In addition, it has been grossly unable to check the quantity frauds along with identity frauds as the possibility and existence of duplicate ration cards cannot be ignored.
  • Opportunities: This is thus a typical case where the government has to foster the viability of the scheme especially under the ABBA umbrella. There has to be a clear policy about ensuring the rooting out of all hurdles for smooth implementation of ABBA. The government can instead introduce smart cards which will be a much simpler approach to check corruption and introduce smart technologies.
  • Threat: A continuance of ABBA in PDS risks the lives of many vulnerable sections who have either not yet linked Aadhaar with their PDS or become victim to the delays caused by the hurdles in implementation of the scheme.

Thus, it will be prudent for the government to withdraw ABBA from PDS till the implementation process is made foolproof.   

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