A decision by India's planning commission last week to exempt newborn and young children from giving biometric details under the Aadhaar unique identity scheme follows a failed enrollment pilot earlier this year.The pilot was launched this year year by the country's Planning Commission, now called Niti Aayog, along with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and the National Population Registrar (NPR), reported Indian media.”The pilot project was launched on February 23 at Tigaon primary health centre in Faridabad because of its proximity to the capital,” a high-ranking government official, requesting anonymity, told the Business Standard.While biometric enrolment of fingerprint and iris data proved difficult with newborns, facial recognition was useless as the infants in the photographs lacked distinguishing features.”On simplifying Aadhaar enrollment of children, it was suggested that the requirement of photo of the children serves little purpose and causes considerable hardship and should be dispensed with▀¬ UIDAI shall seriously explore the option of exempting child's photograph and relaxing requirements of name for enrolling children below five years,” said the minutes of meetings seen by the Business Standard.NITI Aayog last week asked the UIDAI to issue Aadhar cards to children below five years of age even if the child's photograph is unavailable or if the child has no name.Photo: “Street children in India&amamp;quot; by Sumanth Garakarajula