Biometric technology used for immigration process in India

23 January 2013

Posted by Samuel Couratin

Technology used to identify an individual by their physical characteristics is being incorporated into the immigration process in India.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is introducing biometrics into the country's Immigration, Visa and Foreigners' Registration and Tracking system by collecting data about the movements and activities of foreign people.

Speaking to FutureGov, Dr B Narayana Shetty, Project Chief and Deputy Director General at the National Informatics Centre, said that an online portal had been set up to collect the information from various sources, including hotels, universities and hospitals.

The private institutions are by law required to detail information about foreign customers within 24 hours, the Asian media platform reported.

By introducing biometrics into the system, visa processes will be able to undergo more stringent checks and in turn could reduce the number of fake identities passing through the system.

"Some people come into the country on different passports with different visas," Mr Shetty said, explaining that "the entire system is for security".

Data collection of all visitors to India starts from the visa application procedure and information continues to be gathered once the visitor is in the country.

So far, the biometric system has been implemented within Indian embassies in ten countries and there are plans for the process to be expanded.

Electronics Corporation of India is currently working with the Government in India to provide the infrastructure to capture and store fingerprints of all visa applicants and foreign visitors.

"The system will compare fingerprints to all previous records stored in the database," Mr Shetty said. "If the biometrics match any other record, an alert will be sent to the concerned agency to verify the identity of the person."

Biometric technology adoption is spanning a number of sectors, most recently rumoured to be used within PlayStation's upcoming controllers.

According to CVG, the PS4's latest pad is expected to include a touchscreen and biometric sensors on the grips, replacing its traditional DualShock control.

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