Andhra Pradesh Government today launched Smart Cards scheme based on Aadhaar number of Unique Identity Authority of India. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy  formally distributed the first set of Smart Cards at Maheswaram in Ranga Reddy district today. With this Maheswaram has become the first Mandal in the country that is using Aadhaar based biometric authentication to enable people to claim benefits under different welfare programmes.

With an aim to bring transparency in implementing various welfare programmes, the Andhra Pradesh Government has introduced Smart Card system based on the Aadhaar number of the Unique Identity Authority of India. The multi purpose Smart Cards are now under preparation in seven districts of the state including Srikakulam, East Godavari, Adilabad, Hyderabad, Chittoor, Anantapur and Ranga Reddy on pilot basis. So far 6 lakh families have been issued the cards which will serve as ID proof for all purpose and going to replace the Rations cards under the Public Distribution System. These smart cards which will have the data collected using biometrics of all members of the family will help people claim benefits under different welfare programmes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Rajeev Arogyasri- the health insurance for poor, scholarships, Social security pensions, housing and self-help group schemes and even for cooking gas. Using the Smart Card to facilitate introduction of - anywhere-ration facility for the migrating and nomadic families is also under consideration.