The Government of India aims to provide a comprehensive set of safety nets to India’s poor. Financial leakages and service delivery issues, however, reduce its effectiveness. The government claims that the use of Aadhaar can address these problems. Until recently, there was insufficient data to answer this question. While data gaps remain, we use the SOA survey, along with other recent research and administrative data to begin providing answers. Given data availability, we will focus largely on the Public Distribution System (PDS).
Coverage of Aadhaar in PDS
Aadhaar’s two main uses in PDS have grown steadily over the last year. Aadhaar seeding aims to remove duplicate and fake entries from databases. Aadhaar-based biometric authentication aims to prevent access to non-genuine persons.
Aadhaar seeding in PDS and other major programmes
The figure below shows the increase in Aadhaar seeding in the last financial year.
Aadhaar-based biometric authentication
The figure below shows the increase in proportion of fair price shops that use Aadhaar enabled e-PoS devices in the last financial year.
User experience and exclusion
Role of Aadhaar in exclusion from PDS entitlements
The figure below shows the average monthly exclusion rate in PDS and the role of Aadhaar.
Aadhaar-related points of failure
The figure below shows the breakdown of monthly exclusion rate by reasons for exclusion, for Rajasthan’s PDS.
The figure below shows the Number of attempts required for successful Aadhaar-based biometric authentication in PDS.
The figure below shows government data from Andhra Pradesh and Telengana that shows the percentage of beneficiaries who fail to authenticate each month.
The figure below showcases the opinion rating of the use of Aadhaar in the public distribution system and the reasons behind the rating.