corruption, government, ID management, poverty, transparency, welfare

India: West Bengal state adopts biometric ID for jobs program

Indian State Spends USD 18.5 mil on ICT in Welfare Scheme (Future Gov) 
ICT = Information and communications technology

On the 7th of September, the West Bengal state government in India confirmed a Rs. 103-crore (US$18.5 million) contract for end-to-end ICT services to streamline the e-governance applications of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in West Bengal.

MGNREGS, the central government’s flagship social welfare programme, guarantees a minimum of 100 days of employment every year to adult members of rural households who are willing to perform public-service manual labour at minimum wage.

Increasing transparency and efficiency in social programs is important to maintaining their legitimacy amidst allegations of corruption. Biometrics can help and have been deployed successfully to meet identical goals in Andhra Pradesh.

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