It is easy to think of technology that can recognize a unique fingerprint instantly as being a modern marvel of the 21st century, but its roots actually go back to the end of the 19th century. 

Argentine anthropologist Juan Vucetich first cataloged fingerprints in 1891, and just two years later that helped Inspector Eduardo Alvarez identify Francisca Rojas as the actual killer of her two sons.

Biometrics is the measurement of the physical characteristics, such as fingerprints, iris patterns and facial characteristics to identify individuals. Other interesting biometrics that can be experimented with are tattoos, palms, veins, a person’s gait, among others.

Biometrics has emerged as the enabling technology to meet the current need for enhanced security. The challenge is to ensure that biometric systems are accurate and interoperable.

These systems today meet national and international standards, leading to higher levels of security.

Biometrics are commonly used for applications, such as access control to secure facilities (R&D facilities, offices), computer networks (secure login for organizations, particularly banks), and extensively for Government disbursement of subsidies. 

Trusted identity – The backbone of security in transactions for individuals, corporates and institutions. 

The most typical use cases of biometric technologies:

  1. Law enforcement and public security (criminal/suspect identification)
  2. Military (enemy/ally identification)
  3. Border, travel, and migration control (traveler/migrant/passenger identification)
  4. Civil identification (citizen/resident/voter identification)
  5. Healthcare and subsidies (patient/beneficiary/healthcare professional identification)
  6. Physical and logical access (owner/user/employee/contractor/partner identification)
  7. Commercial applications (consumer/customer identification)

Biometric Standards are developed to ensure interoperability of biometric devices and algorithms so as to avoid vendor lock-in and also ensure long term storage of data with technology independence. The defined biometric standards are applicable to all e-Governance applications in India as per the Government’s Policy on Open Standards.

There are various e-Governance applications in India using Biometrics are the following:

• UIDAI (Aadhar) 
• NPR (National Population Register)  
• E-Passport 
• PDS (Public Distribution System) 
• RSBY (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna) 
• Transport department for issuing or renewing Driving License, et

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