L-1 Solutions gets orders worth $24.5-mn form UIDAI

L-1 Identity Solutions has received orders worth $24.5 million (Rs 110 crore) for finger and iris biometric capture devices form the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as part of the initial phase of the UID programme. The order includes Agile TP fingerprint slap devices and Mobile-Eyes iris cameras. The Standardization, Testing and Quality Certification Directorate of the Department of Information Technology (DIT) has already certified both the devices. The complete order is expected to be shipped by March 2011; however an initial lot has already been shipped to the UIDAI. As part of the deal the biometrics solutions will be provided at the cost of Rs 2.75 per person and every one of the biometric service provider (BSP) will receive Rs 2.75 per de-duplicated identity. The cost is a saving of nearly 70 per cent as compared to a cost of Rs 9 per person as initially estimated by the UIDAI. Meanwhile three consortia individually led by Accenture, Mahindra Satyam and L-1 Identity Solutions have been selected by the UIDAI to offer biometrics solutions for capturing the fingerprints and iris scans of the 1.2 billion population of the country. The three consortia will all include algorithm and system integration providers in their fold. The Unique Identification Number (UID) scheme to be formally launched this week by the Prime Minister could prove to be a gateway for illegal migrants to settle in India, a Census expert has warned. This is because the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) headed by Nandan Nilekani is using data collected by Census authorities to prepare the National Population Register (NPR) to create the UIDs. The NPR is not an exclusive database of Indian citizens. It contains data on all residents of the country, including foreigners. Therefore, issuing UIDs based on the data in the NPR will help illegal migrants get these IDs and will allow them access to government services and programmes. "They would be entitled to obtain Indian passport, register their names in the electoral rolls, obtain identity card issued by the Election Commission of India, get ration cards and open bank accounts. All this will make them eligible to contest elections at all levels, and even enter the police and armed forces," S. P. Sharma, the former deputy registrar general (Census and tabulations), said.

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