UP to launch biometric system for 'transparent' food distribution: another digital access obstacle?

Malnourished children, adolescent girls, and pregnant and lactating women in Uttar Pradesh will now need biometric self-authentication to receive their 'poshahar'

Representative image of a biometric scanner reading a thumb print (photo: Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Representative image of a biometric scanner reading a thumb print (photo: Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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IANS

To check 'misuse' of food supplies at anganwadi and mini-anganwadi centres, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to implement a biometric system for food distribution under the supplementary nutrition scheme.

The proposal for poshahar (supplementary nutrition) distribution under the supplementary nutrition programme being validated by e-POS machines is expected by the BJP-led government to ensure that nobody can appropriate the food supplies meant for beneficiaries. It has been approved by the cabinet already.

The Uttar Pradesh Development System Corporation Limited (UPDESCO) has been nominated as the executive body for the installation and operation of e-POS machines.

Under the supplementary nutrition scheme, nutritious food is provided to children from 6 months to 6 years, including highly malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women, and adolescent girls aged between 14 and 18 years in aspirational districts.

UPDESCO has been made responsible for preparing the request for proposal (RFP) through e-tendering, along with a tender for the installation of e-POS machines. The process is being conducted through the UP government’s e-procurement portal.

A purchasing committee headed by the UPDESCO director will be formed. The selected system integrator organisations will need to provide e-POS machine software applications, iris identification, field-level manpower, technical manpower and mobile SIM cards along with maintenance for three years.

This project will be run on a system integrator-based 'build, own and operate' model.

An official said that adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women are capable of biometric self-authentication and will receive their poshahar after Aadhaar-based authentication.

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