India aims to collect biometric information of Sri Lankans

India has given INR 450 million to Sri Lanka to fund its unique digital identity project, a critical step in that country’s digitalisation programme which is to be implemented through Indian assistance.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office said the grant was provided on Friday.

India’s High Commissioner Gopal Bagley handed over the money to Technology Minister Kanaka Herath, constituting 15 per cent of the total funds required for the project, the President’s Office said.

The project aims to collect biographic and biometric information, including facial, iris and fingerprint data, which will be stored in a centralised system to issue identification cards as per the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The project would lead to more effective and efficient delivery of government services, poverty reduction and welfare programs, financial inclusion through better access to banking and other products and services.

During a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, key stakeholders, including Presidential Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayaka, discussed the project with Bagley.

Ratnayaka expressed his gratitude to India for its support in this endeavour.

The project commenced with the signing of a MoU between Sri Lanka and India in March 2022 and an Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Project Monitoring Committee for the Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity Project (SL-UDI) was introduced.

India is overseeing the software development for the SL-UDI.

The Federal

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