Siddharth Sekhar Singh and Ashwini ChhatreDownload PDF
- The authentication failure rate for active ration cards in DelhiAePDS in March 2018 was 1.3%. 19,482 ration cards failed authentication during this period.
- 97% of all successful fingerprint and iris-based authentication requests received response from UIDAI within 2 seconds.
- Failure rate for OTP-based authentication was 18% as compared to .5% and 2% for fingerprint and iris based authentications respectively.
- High authentication attempt days were marred by frequent disconnection between ePOS devices and PDS server.
The Public Distribution System (PDS) in Delhi employs Aadhaar to authenticate the identity of its beneficiaries. The authentication takes place at the Fair Price Shops (FPS), wherein an individual eligible to receive subsidized food grains is required to furnish proof of possession of a ration card and must undergo Aadhaar-based authentication. The authentication workflow includes biometric and OTP based authentication.
This data brief characterizes the main attributes of Aadhaar-enabled Public Distribution System (AePDS) in Delhi and reports on the relative impact of essential components of the AePDS system on allocation of entitlements to the beneficiaries of the PDS system during March 2018.
The Aadhar authentication attempts for approximately 1.55M ration cards were made in Delhi’s AePDS in the month of March 2018. Out of these, 19,482 ration cards failed authentication in Delhi AePDS. We found that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)’s Aadhaar authentication services to be extremely responsive. More than 97% of all successful authentication requests received a response from UIDAI within two seconds of their generation at the ePOS machines and 65% out of these were received within one second. Almost 70% of all OTP based authentications were completed in no more than 20 seconds. Only 149 authentications (out of 1.55M) were found to take more than sixty seconds to authenticate.
Aadhaar enabled public distribution system (AePDS) has three major components. The ePOS machine at the PDS shop, the state PDS server, and the Aadhaar Authentication Services managed and provided by UIDAI. For efficient delivery of Aadhaar authentication enabled services to the beneficiaries these three components must function in tandem with high efficiency. The state PDS server contains the repository of the digitized ration cards of all the beneficiaries and logs each transaction generated by the ePOS device present in the PDS shop. Even temporary unavailability of the state PDS server greatly impacts the time taken to authenticate a beneficiary. We found that the PDS entitlement offtake in Delhi is characterized by abrupt surge in authentications attempts in the first half of each month. Any disruption of services by PDS server during this period aggravates the inconvenience caused to beneficiaries.
During the month of March 2018, the state PDS server of Delhi was found to be frequently inaccessible by the ePOS devices, especially on days with high number of authentication attempts. The state PDS server’s throughput was observed to abruptly decrease for short durations of time during exactly the same hours of the day with high authentication attempts.
These observations call for a detailed study of the efficacy of various components of AePDS to identify technical issues or bottlenecks in different parts of the authentication ecosystem and gain insights for improved strategic management of the authentication system.
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