NEW DELHI: Aiming to prevent the misuse of canteen smart card by relatives of serving or retired personnel, the Indian Army has now formulated an additional security feature of access control by storing the right index finger's impression in the individual smart card.
"We have received a number of complaints with regards to unauthorised individuals gaining access into Indian Army's Unit Run Canteens (URCs).
To stop them from entering into URCs, an additional feature has been added into the access control system by storing impression of the right index finger in the smart card," sources in the Indian Army said.
The URCs are an integral part of Canteen Stores Department (CSD) which runs retail stores for the defence forces and is also one of the largest buyers of the consumer products.
The sources also clarified the finger impression will not be stored anywhere else.
It will only be inserted into the smart card.
When the beneficiary visits the URCs, he/she has to swipe his/her canteen smart card and place the finger to authenticate the same.
The Army is also mulling to educate the beneficiaries on the same to avoid misinformation and lack of awareness, they added.
They also stated there is no need of Aadhaar and PAN card for applying for the canteen smart card.
The card issuing firm or any URCs will also not hold any personal documents if they were enclosed during applying for the card.
Earlier, Combined Canteen Smart Card was introduced to facilitate the Ex-Serviceman (ESM) in order to carry of multiple cards.
The combined canteen smart card was used for buying grocery and liquor.
However, a large number of cases were detected wherein beneficiaries misused the facility of applying for both combined and separate liquor and grocery card, which amount to fraud.
Based on the feedback, the system of a combined card has been done away with effect from April 1, 2018.
Veterans were requested to apply for separate cards.
All applications received till April 15, 2018 have been personalised and dispatched to respective URCs, the sources said.
The CSD with yearly sales of Rs 18,000 crore has 4,500 outlets throughout the country, selling everything from toothpaste to cars at lower tax rates to the defence personnel.
It even runs mobile stores for those deployed at forward locations.