By Elton Gomes
Entering an airport India will now be easier as passengers’ IDs from their digital locker will be considered as valid identity proof.
What has the BCAS said
Recently, an order has been issued on this matter by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). The order was issued by BCAS chief Kumar Rajesh Chandra, who said that upon request from National e-governance Division and the ministry of electronics and information technology, the issue concerning acceptance of Aadhaar card, PAN card, and driving licence as a valid photo identity document when presented from the digital locker of a departing air passenger, has been examined, Financial Express reported.
As per the statement, it has been decided that if a passenger shows his/her Aadhaar card, PAN card, or driving licence from the ‘Issued Documents’ section from his/her DigiLocker account, then the same will be considered as a valid photo identity document.
The order however clarified that “documents uploaded by the user himself/herself (that is documents in ‘Uploaded Documents’ section) shall not be considered as a valid photo identity document,” the Times of India reported.
What is the DigiLocker and how to use it?
As the name suggests, DigiLocker is a digital locker for issuance and verification of documents and certificates. DigiLocker eliminates the need to physically carry such documents and provides ready accessibility to issuers online in times of need.
To avail DigiLocker services, one needs to open an account online by visiting Digilocker.gov.in. An account can be created through the Android app as well. Documents on DigiLocker will only be shared after an approval has been received. An individual can also use Aadhaar to sign up. In the absence of an Aadhaar, one can authenticate mobile number and submit proof of address and identity documents for verification.
Airports to use facial recognition for passengers
Further making things easier for travellers, Indian airports will soon be equipped with facial recognition technology. As per the government’s Digi Yatra initiative, travellers will soon be able to enter airports in the country with facial recognition biometrics.
Civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said that facial recognition would not be compulsory for passengers and that the initiative seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel.
Under Digi Yatra, a centralised registration system will be available for all passengers, and each of them would get a unique ID. The ID will have to be shared by passengers while booking tickets.
Before travel, the airline will then share the passenger data and the ID with the airport from where the passenger would be flying out. The departure airport would conduct a one-time verification while travelling for the first time using the ID. Once verification has been successful, facial recognition biometric would be captured and stored in the Digi Yatra ID.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius