India’s government has granted the country’s navy and coast guard a first set of mobile biometric security devices to check the identity cards of the residents in coastal areas. Home Minister Rajnath Singh handed the devices to Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan and Coast Guard Director General Vice-Admiral A G Thapliyal at an event held in New Delhi in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The Resident Identity Card (RIC) readers, which have been developed by Indian technology firms Ms ITI and Ms Electronics Corporation of India, can authenticate an individual’s demographic and biometric authentication without an internet connection.
“The card readers work on the principle of Key Management System and the cards can be read only when the key present in the RIC is authenticated by the Verification Authentication card,” the Home Ministry said in a statement detailing the features of the new gadget released on Wednesday to the two maritime security agencies. The statement said the RIC reader is “tamper-proof and self-destructs if it is opened in an unauthorised manner.”
India has a coastline of some 7,500 kilometres, covering 69 coastal districts in mainland India, three in Andaman and Nicobar and one in Lakshadweep.
Last month, India’s Border Security Force (BSF) has rolled out mobilebiometric scanners at 40 points along its border with Bangladesh to catch insurgents and illegal migrants. Suspects captured by the BSF will now have their biometric data checked against villagers’ to confirm they are not illegal migrants or fighters with insurgent groups.