Nasscom, others encourage Aadhaar app development

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)’s Aadhaar project has been regaining momentum under the Narendra Modi government, even as several companies in the software product ecosystem are showing interest in building Aadhaar-enabled applications.

To fillip the efforts, information technology industry body Nasscom along with startup incubators Khosla Labs and AngelPrime, have decided to hold ‘hackathons’ where engineers will be required to write code using Aadhaar’s open source application programming interface (API).

This was explained at an interactive session on ‘Aadhaar: Identity Cornerstone of Digital India’ held on Thursday as part of the Nasscom’s annual Product Conclave on Thursday.

The first such hackathon will happen on December 6, 2014, at Khosla Labs, founded by Vinod Khosla, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Bangalore-based Khosla Labs is currently headed by Srikanth Nadhamuni who was the brain behind the technology at UIDAI.

Around 50 engineers will be allowed to participate in the hackathon. Since its inception in 2009, Aadhaar has been conceived as proof of identity to help government implement various services like obtaining new passports, mobile numbers, opening bank accounts and sanctioning new gas connections.

Besides private companies using Aadhaar’s biometrics for their attendance systems, the online authentication platform built by UIDAI is also being used by the government for the Direct Benefits Transfer project to identify the correct beneficiaries and eliminate fakes and duplicates from the system.

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