Overview of Digi-Yatra

Digi Yatra Foundation is a not- for- profit company under section 8 of companies Act 2013 incorporated on 20 February 2019, for implementation of a digital ecosystem aimed at streamlining air travel pursuant to the Digi Yatra Policy issued by Ministry of Civil Aviation. Digi Yatra Foundation was set up with initial shareholding of Airport Authority of India (AAI), Cochin International Airport (CIAL), Bangalore International Airport (BIAL), Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) & Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (HIAL).

The Digi Yatra Foundation is working to create a solution, that provides a unique and memorable digital travel experience for domestic passengers using real time selfie-based facial biometric validation. This is to provide a friction less, hassle free, contact-less and safe experience to passengers during air travel. The platform is aimed at enabling a data driven approach for airport authorities towards enabling optimal use of infrastructure and a more efficient overall security system. Additional context and considerations are provided in the “Digi Yatra Biometric Boarding System” Policy (Policy) of Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The Challenge Context & Vision

Under the above initiative, individual airports across India have started a pilot project roll out of biometric boarding systems on a stand-alone basis, with the goal to ultimately scale up across India for all airlines. Individual airports manage passenger verification from the entry gate of the airport to the boarding gate. As the next step it is proposed to have a Digi yatra central ecosystem to enable the registration of passengers into the ecosystem and verification of their face biometric with their image in Aadhar, Driving license or passport. The Digi yatra central ecosystem platform will communicate with individual airports and share travel details for the airports to verify.

The present Challenge is being launched to select a solution for the Digi-yatra Central Ecosystem, including the enrolment and data sharing ecosystem. This challenge is being organised by NITI Aayog in collaboration with the Digi-Yatra Foundation, Atal Innovation Mission and Amazon Web Services (Organisers).

Who can apply?

  • Indian Start-ups. The definition of a start-up may be found here.
  • Individual(s) with the relevant experience. If selected, the individual(s) is expected to incorporate a company in India
  • Consortium of one or more start-ups. The lead of the consortium must be an Indian start-up
  • Find eligibility criteria here

Registration and Application

The applicants may apply by registering on the DYCE Challenge site. The deadline for submission is 4th June 2021. On successful registration, the applicant will receive a confirmation mail. The applicant may then login and complete the application form. On successful submission of application, a unique application ID will be generated and emailed to the applicant. Applicants may use this ID for further communication.

Each applicant will further submit the following by 4 June 2021:

  • Presentation link: Presentation to capture all points mentioned below (not more than 20 slides):
    1. Team Experience in developing and deploying facial biometric solution/ e-KYC solutions, developing SDKs that integrate with two or more applications, identity management (preferably in line with ISO/IEC 27701), distributed ledger system/ blockchain.
    2. Project plan for development
    3. Overview of the solution. This should include biometric performance metrics, adherence to self-sovereign identity, W3C DID standards as mentioned below:
      1. Decentralised Identifiers
      2. DIDComm Encryption envelope
      3. DIDComm transports
      4. DIDComm Aries RFC
      5. Verificable Credentials at the W3C
    4. Plan to ensure a high quality user experience
  • 2-minute elevator pitch YouTube link

The application for the challenge will only be accepted through the challenge portal and no physical application will be accepted or required. The deadline for submission is 4-June-2021 12:00 noon IST.

Stages of shortlisting for the challenge

For an entity to be considered, they must fulfil the terms and conditions of the Challenge. In addition, to be eligible, the entity must have experience based on the following criteria:

  1. successfully developed and deployed
    1. at least 1 facial biometric solution/application
    2. t least 1 biometric solution/application​
  2. successfully developed and deployed Software Delivery Kits (SDKs) that integrates across at least 2 different applications.
  3. Completed identity management in line with ISO/IEC 27701 requirements
  4. successfully developed and deployed at least 1 distributed ledger system or blockchain that will enable building this solution

The Organisers will contact the eligible applicants on their timeslot for presentation to the expert committee and the prototype details by 11th June 2021. In case of an incomplete application it would be the Organisers discretion to either reject the application or seek further details.

The eligible applicants will be asked to prepare a working prototype (app and SDK) that should demonstrate the following:

  1. Ability to enroll the air travel passenger using AADHAAR/Driving License/e-Passport
  2. OTP validation of the air travel passenger
  3. Selfie-based enrolment for air travel passengers by matching it with the AADHAAR/Driving License/e-Passport image using facial biometric algorithms, for a one-time validation.
  4. Secure sharing of data within stakeholders such as airports, airlines and regulatory agencies.

The prototype must be developed by 4 July 2021. Details and support materials such as data, hosting infrastructure for evaluation will be shared with eligible applicants.

Eligible entity (s) will be considered for evaluation. The evaluation will be based on the criteria available here.

In order to assess the capability, eligible applicants will be invited for a presentation of their solution to an expert committee. The organisers may also arrange a cloud infrastructure for eligible applicants to demonstrate the performance of their biometric model. The presentation may be done virtually or physically in Delhi, based on the final discretion of the Organisers. The decision of the expert committee shall be final and binding.

The top 3 entries from Stage 2 evaluation will be selected to participate in the MVP development. The objective and scope of the MVP is to build a deployment ready solution. The duration of MVP development is expected to be 3 months. The MVP will be evaluated by an expert committee for deployment readiness. The decision of the expert committee shall be final and binding. These entries may receive incubation support from Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), mentorship and technical support from the Organisers for the MVP build and pilot deployment.

An additional 3 entries may be waitlisted for further consideration and will be informed of their participation by the Organisers as and when deemed necessary by the Organisers.

The pilot project would be for 3 months involving 3 Indian airports.

Following the pilot a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP) will be floated by the Digi Yatra Team for operations and maintenance of the platform for a further five years. The Digi Yatra team may choose to make the top 6 shortlisted entries eligible to participate in the bid.


Challenge stage Dates Duration
Challenge Open for registration
and application submission
21-May-2021 to 4-June-2021 2 weeks
Stage 1 - Eligibility evaluation 5-June-2021 to 11-June 2021 1 week
Stage 2 - Prototype build 12-June-2021 to 4-July-2021 3 weeks
Stage 3 - Evaluation 5-July-2021 to 11-July-2021 1 week

Contact details