The government plans to tap into the biometric database of the National Population Register (NPR) in a dozen states as it tries to improve the efficacy of its new financial inclusion scheme as well as plug leakages in transfer of direct benefits.
“We will be talking to about 12 states to use their NPR database for the Jan Dhan Yojana. The objective is to use biometrics so that we can plug leakages in direct benefit transfers and also improve the spread of the scheme,” said a finance ministry official.
Each of the accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana is also linked to direct benefit transfer of subsidies and is seeded with the 16 digit Aadhaar number.
However, with just 70 crore enrollments Aadhaar has limited reach in the country. Meanwhile, some states also encourage residents to enroll under the National Population Register of the Registrar General of India.
The issue is understood to have also been discussed at a meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Saturday to review the progress under Aadhaar.
Similar to the collection of biometric data on citizens under Aadhaar by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the NPR is being implemented by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India to create a comprehensive identity database of citizens.
NPR data is being collected in 19 states including Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh (UT).