• Authentication failure rates in the State declined to .5% of all Active cards in the month of November 2018.
• 98% of all successful fingerprint and iris-based authentication requests received response from UIDAI within 2 seconds.
• More than 70% of beneficiaries access the state AePDS in the last fifteen days of a month.
• More than half of all authentication failures were recoded in the last week of June 2018
• High authentication attempt and greater ePOS active days were marred by frequent disconnection between ePOS devices and PDS server.
The Public Distribution System (PDS) in Haryana 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 relies on biometric authentication.
This data brief characterizes the main attributes of Aadhaar-enabled Public Distribution System (AePDS) in Haryana 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 the month of June 2018. A run-through of findings from authentications between November 2017 to November 2018 is also presented in this study.
The Aadhar authentication attempts for approximately 2M ration cards were made each month in Haryana’s AePDS from November 2017 to November 2018. Faridabad district was observed to have more than twice the average failure rate in the state during this period. Half of all failures are captured in the last week of each month.
We found that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)’s Aadhaar authentication services to be extremely responsive. More than 98% of all successful authentication requests received a response from UIDAI within two seconds of their generation at the ePOS machines and 78% out of these were received within one second. Only finger-print based biometric authentication was used for identification purposes.
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 Haryana is characterized by abrupt surge in authentications attempts in the second half of each month. Any disruption of services by PDS server during this period aggravates the inconvenience caused to beneficiaries.
During the month of June 2018, the state PDS server of Haryana was found to be frequently inaccessible by the ePOS devices, especially on days with high number of authentication attempts and greater number of active ePOS devices.
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.