India has agreed to provide a grant to Sri Lanka to implement a ‘Unitary Digital Identity framework’, apparently modelled on the Aadhaar card. The Rajapaksa government will “prioritise” the implementation of the Framework as a national-level programme. The initiative follows bilateral talks between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa & Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2019.
Under the proposed Unitary Digital Identity Framework:
- It is expected to introduce a personal identity verification device based on biometric data, a digital tool that can represent the identities of individuals in cyberspace, and the identification of individual identities that can be accurately verified in digital and physical environments by combining the two devices.
- While India has confirmed support for Sri Lanka’s effort to transition to a digital identity system, there is no official information yet on the value of the grant, and whether it would include technological support or training. Queried on the specifics of the agreement, Colombo-based official sources said the terms of the agreement are “being worked out”.