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NavIC to link to Aadhaar enrolment devices

  • Published
    11th Aug, 2023
Context

The Department of Space (DoS) has told the Parliamentary Committee of Science and Technology that the Navigation with Indian Constellation or (NavIC) is going to be integrated into Aadhaar enrolment devices. 

Navigation with Indian Constellation or (NavIC):

  • NavIC or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is designed with a constellation of 7 satellites and a network of ground stations operating 24×7.
  • There are a total of eight satellites however only seven remain active.
  • Three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
  • The constellations' first satellite (IRNSS-1A) was launched on 1st July 2013 and the eighth satellite IRNSS-1I was launched in April 2018.
  • It is fully under the control of the Government of India.
About the merger:
  • Need: Currently the Aadhaar enrolment kits that are used to collect and verify personal details are linked to Global Positioning system (GPS).
  • The DoS has conducted successful field trials and is providing technical expertise for the finalisation of procurement specifications for the devices.
  • Overall, the integration of NavIC into Aadhaar enrolment devices will enhance navigation accuracy and provide better disaster management capabilities.
  • Significance:
  • NavIC’s integration will enhance the accuracy and reliability of these devices.

Aadhaar authentication process:

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been created, with the mandate of providing a Unique Identity (Aadhaar) to all Indian residents.
  • The UIDAI provides online authentication using demographic and biometric data.
  • Aadhaar authentication is the process involves Aadhaar Number, along with other attributes, including biometrics, is submitted online to the Aadhaar system for its verification on the basis of information or data or documents available with it.
  • During the authentication transaction, the resident’s record is first selected using the Aadhaar Number and then the demographic/biometric inputs are matched against the stored data which was provided by the resident during enrolment/update process.

How NavIC will ensure data protection?

  • NavIC offers two services:
  • Standard Position Service (SPS) for civilian users and;
  • Restricted Service (RS) for strategic users.
  • These two services are provided in both L5 (1176.45 MHz) and S band (2498.028 MHz).
  • NavIC coverage area includes India and a region up to 1,500 km beyond the Indian boundary.
  • Newer satellites will have an additional band called L1 that will be compatible with civilian use.

Present NavIC uses:

  • The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) was already utilising NavIC as an alert dissemination system for major natural disasters like landslips, earthquakes, floods, and avalanches.
  • The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information System (INCOIS) relies on NavIC to broadcast cyclones, high waves, and tsunamis alert messages to fishermen venturing into the deep sea.

Organizations working with NavIC data:

  • NavIC standards were set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Telecom Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM), International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC), and International Standards Organisation (ISO).

Concerns with GPS or other global systems:

  • Threat to data security and sovereignty: System like GPS and GLONASS are operated by defence agencies of the respective nations.
  • Breach of personal information: It is possible that the civilian service can be degraded or denied.

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