The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has brought in secure digitally-signed QR code on eAadhaar that will now contain a photograph of the Aadhaar holder too, in addition to demographic details, to facilitate better offline verification of an individual.

A QR code is a form of barcode label which contains machine-readable information, while eAadhaar is the electronic version of Aadhaar that can be downloaded from UIDAI website. The new feature, the digitally-signed QR code, will contain a photo of the Aadhaar holder in addition to existing facility of demographic details, in turn allowing various user agencies like banks to verify the authenticity of Aadhaar card offline.

When contacted UIDAI chief executive officer (CEO) Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “This is a simple offline mechanism to quickly verify the genuineness of the Aadhaar card.” However, to ensure that a person is a bona fide owner of the Aadhaar card, there has to be a manual check of the photo with the individual’s face or through the use of agency-specific authentication scheme, he noted.

The UIDAI’s eAadhaar QR Code reader software has been made available on the nodal body’s website from 27 March 2018. Offline verification facility would add yet another option to the exception-handling mechanism at the ground level for ensuring that no denials on Aadhaar-based services take place, the person in the know added.

So now, in an eAadhaar, there will a small QR code on the front side of the cutaway portion, with demographic data only, and large ones on the top portion of the front side and the back (containing demographic data and the photo). Further, to make this information more secure and tamper-proof, it will be signed with UIDAI digital signature, the person aware of the development added.

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