Aadhaar, PDS database link to help AP plug loopholes

K. V. Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on March 12, 2018

Seamless transfer: A shopkeeper at a PDS outlet in Chintal Basti, Hyderabad uses fingerprint technology to authenticate a beneficiary before logging in the quantity of rice, wheat, sugar and kerosene to be distributed to the Aadhaar Card holder. — P. V. Sivakumar

Naseem Banu, 50, is an illiterate homemaker. She has absolutely no clue what Point-of-Sale (POS) device, verification and servers are. But she is well aware what a POS device can do for her. It opens her PDS (public distribution system) account with her thumb impression.

When she makes her thumb impression at the shop, it is sent to the central Aadhaar servers in Delhi.

“It takes just a few milliseconds for the systems to authenticate the user. It then automatically opens her PDS account. She can draw, in part or full, her provisions,” Harpreet Singh, Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh Civil Supplies Department, told Business Line.


Andhra Pradesh, which is a front-runner in Aadhaar enrolments in the country, is piloting the project that seeks to link the PDS beneficiaries’ database with that of the Aadhaar. These databases cross-check and weed out fake or duplicate enrolments. The pilot, being implemented in 150 PDS outlets in East Godavari and Hyderabad districts, has already begun showing results.

“We have seen a saving of 10-12 per cent in terms of provisions not claimed by the beneficiaries,” Singh said.

This could result in savings of up to Rs 2,400 crore when the Aadhaar linkage is extended to the rest of the State that receives PDS subsidies worth Rs 17,000 crore from the Union Government. On its part, the State spends Rs 3,000 crore on subsidies.

“This system is helping us in exactly measuring the stock movements at the shop level on a daily basis. It makes the whole process so transparent that there is no scope for hiding any information at any level,” Singh said.


Even as it tests the system and identifies troubling issues, the Civil Supplies Department has begun moving on efforts to introduce the process in Srikakulam, Chittoor, Rangareddy, Adilabad, Anantapur and the two districts where the pilots are happening.

“We are going to call for tenders (for POS devices) and supporting the system this month. We will complete the process in two months and hope to introduce it by March 2013,” Singh said.

Though it enrolled 6 crore people under Aadhaar, the State issued 4.7 crore numbers so far. It will complete the remaining allotments by March next.


Published on December 06, 2012

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