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Aadhaar Flops -Machine fails to read fingerprints, 1.4cr Rajasthanis go without ration

Rosamma Thomas| TNN | 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The e-Point of Sale (PoS) machines are programmed to read fingerprints of those registered to receive subsidized grain, connect to the Aadhaar database over the Internet and authenticate the recipient.
  • Rajasthan was among the first states to implement the Food Security Act in 2013.

To deal with the problem of abrupt increase in prices of pulses, the Centre will look for creation of a buffer stock..To deal with the problem of abrupt increase in prices of pulses, the Centre will look for creation of a buffer stock..

Machine fails to read fingerprints, 1.4cr Rajasthanis go without ration
Rosamma Thomas
Jaipur: They were meant to ease processes and clean up corruption in distributing food grain to the poor. Instead, the e-Point of Sale (PoS) machines have thrown up more problems than solutions.

Each of these devices costs roughly Rs 17,000. They are programmed to read fingerprints of those registered to receive subsidized grain, connect to the Aadhaar database over the Internet and authenticate the recipient.

Clearly, things aren’t playing out to script. In the past two years, over 1.4 crore beneficiaries have been dropped from the list, without being informed. Transaction summary data released by the state government shows that for the month of May , only 44.4 lakh transactions occurred for wheat grains. “That’s less than half the number of those eligible, not counting those whose names were deleted,” says Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan.

Rajasthan is the second state after Andhra to switch over to this technology . At the recent ‘Jawab Do dharna’ in Jaipur, old women vented their anger against the new machines.

Daily wagers complained they spend days at ration outlets trying to squeeze out supplies from the ‘impossible machines’. The long, fruitless wait forces them to skip work and end up losing wages. Hard manual labour flattens fingerprint patterns on the palm.Chances of the machines detecting them are really dim.

These patterns also fade with age. “I’ve never been a manual labourer, but at 70 the lines on my fingers are faint and the device never works with me too,” says Aruna Roy of MKSS.

Vaishali Devi of Kishangarh tehsil, Ajmer, complains she’s been deprived of ration and pension for over three months. She was at the Jawab Do dharna in Jaipur for 20 days. With her was fellow villager Vanni Bai. For three months, she hasn’t been able to collect her quota of supplies.

Shishir Purohit, a researcher who’s travelled through the state’s 33 districts, says: “On an average, only 20 people take home rations each day. Poor internet connectivity slows the system. Often, the line snaps. Hundreds keep making attempt after attempt without any assurance that they’ll take home rations.”

The Aadhaar Bill became law on March 16. Well before that, by January this year, distribution of ration under the Food Security Act was made compulsory through Aadhaar in Rajasthan. “The rules of the Act have not been notified,” says Dey .

Rajasthan was among the first states to implement the Food Security Act in 2013.Three years later, dealers are yet to receive lists of eligible households. Dealers find their hands tied, for now they’re not allowed to use the manual system to distribute grain. “The administration allows dealers leeway to use the manual system only towards the end of the month. By then, the tired daily wager has most likely given up, and his grains could well be given out to someone else,” says Dey.

The built-in redress mechanism is totally out of sync with ground reality . In principle, the Unique Identity Authority of India, implementing agency for Aadhaar can issue a one-time password to the ration seeker’s mobile phone if the system fails. Many using the system can’t afford mobile phones; some don’t remember the number registered on their Aadhaar.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Machine-fails-to-read-fingerprints-1-4cr-Rajasthanis-go-without-ration/articleshow/52948427.cms

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