India to use handheld biometric devices for rural benefits

Indian officials have confirmed that the country plans to roll out solar-powered biometric hand-held devices to all its rural post offices for welfare distribution.

The government plasn to distribute some 130,000 devices to post offices by March 2017, a Department of Posts official told the New Indian Express.

He added that supply to these devices to about 20,000 rural branch post offices shall be completed by March 31 this year. On October 15 last year, the Supreme Court lifted its earlier restriction and permitted voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes following a controversy related to privacy.

 Meanwhile, the World Bank last week said that the scheme was prpoving “transformational” In terms of financial inclusion.

“A digital identification system such as India’s Aadhaar, by overcoming complex information problems, helps willing governments to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups,” the World Bank said.