GS Paper - 3 (ICT)

After a high-level security review for the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra, the government has decided to track all pilgrims using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. What are RFIDs and how do they work?

What does RFID stand for?

  1. Radio Frequency Identification, It’s a wireless tracking system that consists of tags and readers.
  2. Radio waves are used to communicate information/identity of objects or people to nearby readers – devices that can be hand-held or built into fixed positions like poles or buildings.
  3. The tags can carry encrypted information, serial numbers and short descriptions.
  4. There are also high-memory tags like the ones designed for use in the aviation industry.
  5. There are passive and active RFID tags. Active RFIDs use their own power source, mostly batteries.
  6. Active tags can ping information every few seconds like beacons, or they can get activated when a reader is in the proximity.
  7. Passive RFIDs, on the other hand, are activated through the reader using the electromagnetic energy it transmits.
  8. This is enough power for the tag to transmit information back to the reader. Active tags have a longer read range, around 300 ft, compared to passive tags.