Aadhaar glitches result in villagers' starvation

Occurred: 2017-

Technical problems with India's Aadhaar biometric ID system resulted in the deaths of scores of villagers in Jharkhand state and elsewhere, with some committing suicide and others suffering severe malnutrition. 

The glitches have meant that villagers have been unable to get food rations or subsidised grain, sometimes without explanation. Some groups, including vulerable minority groups such as the Parhaiya, have been denied their legal entitlement of subsidised grain for failing to correctly link their ration cards with Aadhaar. 

Campaigners told The Guardian that the system is fraught with problems, including authentication issues, with fingerprints scanning not working properly, officials failing to offer timely support, and poor internet coverage meaning people can often not access the system. 

Operator: Aadhaar
Developer: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

Country: India

Sector: Govt - welfare

Purpose: Reduce welfare fraud

Technology: Fingerprint biometrics
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Robustness

Transparency: Governance