Microsoft today said it has presented to central authorities various “case scenarios” on how its Skype service can be used for identity authentication using the Aadhaar database. “We have presented various case scenarios on how Skype can be used. We already support iris authentication (on Windows 10). Now it depends on them how they want to proceed,” Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said.
Citing an example, he said Skype can be used by people to authenticate themselves for accessing government services that require Aadhaar-based authentication.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is in discussions with handset makers and operating system providers for embedding the identification technology onto mobile devices. This will help people authenticate their Aadhaar biometrics on the phone itself to avail of various government schemes, subsidies and services.
Bhaskar did not comment the proceedings of the meeting as company representatives were not present at the meeting. Talking about the Indian market, Pramanik said the country is of strategic importance.
“This is because of three things — talent, innovation and market (opportunity). We are actively working with the government across areas to contribute to the Digital India mission and transforming India,” he said.
Microsoft has partnered Andhra Pradesh government for rolling out a pilot that is solving the issue of high rates of school drop outs. Using data analytics, the solution predicts how many students will drop out of school, helping the teachers make better decisions and curb the problem.
“We are in discussions with other states as well. Punjab has already signed up for the project,” he added. The US-based company is running another pilot that helps farmers get SMS notifications on the best time to sow seeds in their fields, so that they get the best yield.
Another key area of focus for the company is cloud. “We have partnered PwC, where PwC will become a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider. This will help Microsoft extend its reach organisations of all sizes in India across industries like financial services, government, manufacturing, retail and healthcare,” he said.