4G Identity Solutions (4G ID) won two bids to provide both fingerprint and iris recognition devices to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as it undertakes building the largest national registry. These devices will be used in the UIDAI Proof of Concept (PoC) tests. The objective of the UID feasibility tests is to establish a baseline for biometric data quality under Indian conditions. Subsequent to those tests, the devices and the data collected in the PoC will be used in the UIDAI's biometrics Center of Competence.
The UIDAI has been set up by the government of India with a mandate to issue an identification number to all 1.2 billion residents of India. A key requirement of the ID system is to eliminate duplicate identities to improve the efficacy of service delivery under numerous federal and state programs. UIDAI has chosen to capture iris, fingerprint and facial biometric features as the primary mechanisms for ensuring uniqueness. In December 2009, UIDAI invited global bids for supply, installation and commissioning of biometric and fingerprint devices. Nineteen companies, including the largest Indian integrators and hardware producers, participated in the bidding process which 4G ID won.
India cannot leverage other countries' experiences in designing the UIDAI's biometrics systems and processes. Those experiences simply do not exist in terms of scale, diversity and environmental conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to test devices and enrolment processes in various Indian environments. The UIDAI will use the biometric devices to establish a baseline and answer three questions:
1. What practices will result in the optimum quality of captured biometric information?
2. What level of accuracy can be expected by using fingerprints, iris, and a combination of fingerprints and iris?
3. How does this accuracy vary across certain demographic traits such as gender, age and occupation?