wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

, , ,

Use Aadhaar to identify, track COVID vaccine beneficiaries: Health Ministry to states, UTs

Aadhaar, surveillance
Credit: Trisha Jalan

The Health Ministry has told states and union territories to use Aadhaar identify and track beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. In a review meeting with state health secretaries and other senior officials, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that there is a need to create “Immutable Vaccination Event Records (IVER)” to track possible adverse events after administering the vaccine, and Aadhaar was the “most reliable authentication” mechanism to identify beneficiaries.

“Since use of Aadhar for verification provides a most reliable authentication of beneficiaries, Aadhar based authentication must be the preferred mode of verification of beneficiaries prior to the vaccination.” — Rajesh Bhushan, Health Secretary

Bhushan’s directions to states come even as the government continues to claim that Aadhaar is not mandatory for vaccine beneficiaries. RS Sharma, chair of the Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat COVID-19, had earlier told Business Line that while Aadhaar — by being a “clean database of people” — was helpful in weeding fraudulent beneficiaries, it is not compulsory.

‘CoWIN glitches sorted’: Bhushan, meanwhile, claimed that all technical glitches on the CoWIN app, the backbone of the countrywide vaccination drive, have been resolved. He told officials that the CoWIN software interface provides for authentication of beneficiaries through Aadhaar, and urged them ensure that vaccinators are “sensitized to do proper authentication of beneficiaries”. Compliance of authentication is to be monitored at the district and state level by respective task forces.

It is important to note that the government doesn’t seem to have a plan for vaccinating people who don’t have Aadhaar. According to data provided by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to the Parliament in August 2020, around 11% of the population don’t have the identification document. This is a significant number in a country of over 130 crore people. So far, more than 37 lakh beneficiaries have been vaccinated across the country.

However, Sharma, in his interview with Business Line downplayed this issue by claiming that “[t]he number of people who don’t have Aadhaar is small”. The current vaccination drive only pertains to frontline workers, and the general public cannot yet register, he said. “[W]e will cross that bridge when we come to it, but we have to devise ways in which they will register,” he said. Sharma had earlier said that Aadhaar would help weed out proxy beneficiaries. The CoWIN app ecosystem is designed with a heavy dependence on Aadhaar as well.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

In a separate part of the interview, Sharma indicated that the general public would be able to enroll themselves on the CoWIN app using any digital authentication mechanism using Aadhaar — biometric (face and fingerprint), electronic KYC using OTP. He said people could have the option to authenticate themselves offline “in case you don’t have digital identify matching your face and other details”.

Also read:

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

News

By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

News

By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

News

By Rahul Rai and Shruti Aji Murali A little less than a year since their release, the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 is being amended....

You May Also Like

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ