Indian Officials Aim to Equip Coastal Fishing Workers with Biometric IDs by June

Indian officials are working to expedite the issuance of biometric identification cards to fishing workers in the country’s coastal states.

Comments were made to that effect at a two-day workshop on fisheries technology, where Ashok Kumar Angurana, the ministerial official in charge of animal husbandry, agriculture, and fishing, decried the slow pace of the rollout of biometric credentials to these coastal workers. Ashok asserted that officials would establish a rigorous schedule that will see all fishing workers possessing biometric cards by June.

According to the Times of India, about 1,320,000 cards have so far been issued, with 680,000 outstanding; the cards must be issued in order to allow for the administration of state and central government benefits to the workers, just as how Aadhaar cards have been used in other parts of the country.

It may also be, in part, a security measure, with India’s navy having recently announced a program to equip fishing workers with biometric identification in an effort to prevent coastal-based terrorist attacks. In any case, the biometric identification should prove highly useful for the workers and state authorities seeking administrative efficiencies.