Punjab govt first to use eIDs with NFC for staff

Officers, staff of Punjab Mandi Board will start using these eIDs this week


Government of Punjab has embraced technology in a big way by introducing Electronic Identity Cards (eIDs) equipped with Near Field Communication or NFC technology. The eIDs will be issued to the officers and employees through Punjab Mandi Board.

The NFC technology is a wireless communication technology that allows data to be exchanged between devices that are a few centimetres apart. Therefore, they are ideal to be used as an authentication tool. The NFC works at 13.66 MHz and transfers data at up to 424 Kbits per second.

An NFC-enabled mobile device can serve as a card or reader or both, so that users can use their device to share information and prove their identity.

Punjab Mandi Board has generated eIDs for its officers or employees using this technology and will launch it this week.

The Human Resource Management System (HRMS) data has been used to access the details of the employees. Employees will be authenticated by their HRMS data.

The facility may soon be extended to pensioners too.

Mobiles phones enabled with NFC have smart chips or secure elements in them that allow the phones to securely store and use the data to match with the person’s identity.

The eIDs issued by the Mandi Board will serve the twin purpose of being used as an identity card as well as a business card. All the individual needs to do is tap on the smartphone to pass on his or her details / information to another person, without referring to the ID card. The NFC card may even carry an individual’s social network information pertaining to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, which the individual can edit at leisure.

In future, other schemes or information, such as citizen info card or identity card, old age pension, driving license, or insurance schemes may also be linked with this smart e-card so that all information is available on a single platform. This will enable people to access various government schemes without having to lug around innumerable documents.

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