Three Mega-Projects with Potential to Transform Identity, Education and Criminal Verifications in India

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It is a common lament within the employers and background verification providers that India lacks the integrated database to do comprehensive background checks. While to a great extent, it continues to remain true, I see three mega-projects which have the potential to transform how the identity, education and criminal verifications will be done in future.

First: Aadhar – India’s Unique ID (UID) Project: I had covered this in one of my earlier blogs. Aadhaar will definitely lead to instant identify verifications even though the overall database will be off-limits to third parties (including employers) and background verification providers. The first UID numbers have been issued and things will continue to get more exciting as we go forward.

Second: HRD Ministry led project to create National Database of Academic Qualifications: Announced in early 2010, this initiative aims to create a national database of academic qualifications in electronic (or dematerialized) format enabling online verification and easy retrieval of academic credentials, right from the school boards to universities and higher education institutions. As of now, National Academic Depository Bill 2010 has been drafted and placed for legislative review. The depository is expected to be functional in 2011.

Third: Home Ministry led Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS): Conceived in 2008, this project aims to “facilitate collection, storage, retrieval, analysis, transfer and sharing of data and information” within and across 14000 police stations and around 6000 higher offices in police hierarchy. This project will definitely facilitate online nationwide criminal verifications, instead of physical checks at multiple police stations which are required to be done today. The project is fully underway with the completion expected in 2012.

So what will happen to the background verification industry? The need for doing physical address checks, employer, reference and other specialized background checks will always remain. Additionally, the background verification companies will continue to add value by facilitating access to and consolidating the information across all the verifications. In summary, these three mega-projects will allow the background verification industry to move to the next level of efficiency, accuracy, reliability and technology-orientation.

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