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Finger Minutiae Record – Finger Image Record (FMR-FIR) Modality


Recently, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has rolled out an in-house Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) technology-based Finger Minutiae Record – Finger Image Record (FMR-FIR) modality.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Finger Minutiae Record – Finger Image Record (FMR-FIR) modality
  2. Rationale and Implementation
  3. Advantages and Implications
  4. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS)

Finger Minutiae Record – Finger Image Record (FMR-FIR) modality

  • The FMR-FIR modality is an advanced AI/ML-based technology developed by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to enhance security within the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS).
Key Features and Functionality:
  • FMR-FIR combines two components – finger minutiae and finger image – for fingerprint biometric authentication.
  • Its primary function is to verify the liveness of captured fingerprints during Aadhaar authentication.
  • It distinguishes between genuine “live” fingers and cloned or fake fingerprints, preventing spoofing attempts.
  • Real-time operation provides instant verification results.

Rationale and Implementation:

  • Emerging Threats: The rise of fraudulent activities involving cloned fingerprints necessitated a robust solution to protect AePS transactions.
  • Increasing Payment-related Frauds: Significant surge in payment-related frauds in India, from 700,000 in FY21 to nearly 20 million in FY23.
  • Silicone-based Fraud: Unauthorized money transfers using fake fingerprints created with silicone prompted the need for advanced security measures.
  • AI/ML Integration: Integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning enhances accuracy and effectiveness of fingerprint authentication.

Advantages and Implications:

  • Enhances AePS Security: FMR-FIR technology is designed to combat fraudulent activities, particularly misuse of cloned fingerprints.
  • Mitigates Vulnerabilities: Boosts transaction confidence by reducing vulnerabilities to spoofing and unauthorized access.
  • Technological Innovation: Demonstrates technological innovation in ensuring societal welfare and secure financial transactions within the Aadhaar ecosystem.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS)

  • Establishment: UIDAI is a statutory authority formed on July 12, 2016, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in accordance with the Aadhaar Act 2016.
  • Initial Setup: Originally established in January 2009 as an attached office under the Planning Commission.
  • Mandate: Responsible for issuing a 12-digit unique identification number (Aadhaar) to all Indian residents.
  • Achievements: As of October 31, 2021, UIDAI had issued 131.68 crore Aadhaar numbers.
AePS (Aadhaar-enabled Payment System):
  • Bank-Led Model: AePS facilitates online interoperable financial transactions at Point of Sale (PoS) or micro-ATMs through Business Correspondents (BCs) of any bank, using Aadhaar authentication.
  • Initiation: Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a joint venture of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
  • Objective: Provides accessible and secure banking services to marginalized sections, especially in rural and remote areas.
  • Simplified Transactions: Eliminates the need for OTPs, bank account details, and other financial information.
  • Process: Transactions are conducted using the bank’s name, Aadhaar number, and captured fingerprint during Aadhaar enrollment.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024