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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Aadhaar is mandatory, UIDAI writes to all ministries and states

 ET Bureau | Sep 17, 2016

Soon after the notification of Aadhaar regulations, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has written to all ministries and states to notify services, benefits and subsidies for which the 12-digit number will now be mandatory. 

"The notification shall mention the service, benefits or subsidies funded from the Consolidated Fund of India, which will require, as a condition precedent, a beneficiary to undergo Aadhaar authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number," UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey wrote to all ministries and states in a letter on September 15. 

The letter said that if a person does not have Aadhaar, he will not be denied a benefit but be enrolled in the programme at once, with the respective ministry or state government being made responsible to provide him with the unique identification number. The government has asked ministries and states to list "alternate identity documents and verification methodologies" to give services to citizens till the time Aadhaar is assigned to them once they apply for the same. 

Citing clause 12 of the recently-notified Aadhaar regulations, the letter said that if an application does not have an Aadhaar number, the arrangement/facilitation will be made by the ministry or state concerned to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to the applicant at convenient locations. 

"In case, there are no existing enrolment facilities nearby, they (ministries or state agencies) are required to become UIDAI registrars so that they can set up enrolment facilities themselves. UIDAI has already empowered several ministries and states or the agencies under their jurisdictions to become its registrar and undertake enrolment of their beneficiaries who are not enrolled for Aadhaar," the letter said. 

UIDAI has asked ministries, states or their agencies that want to be a UIDAI registrar to "do so immediately". As reported by ET earlier, these regulations, as re-emphasised in the letter, aim at mollifying concerns among certain political quarters that people would be denied benefits or subsidies if don't have Aadhaar. 

"If a person does not have Aadhaar, he can still get a service through an alternate identity and verification mechanism in the interim, provided he enrols for Aadhaar at once. On getting Aadhaar in a stipulated time post enrolment, the same would become the basis for getting the benefit," Pandey told ET. 

The UIDAI CEO said that the ministries or state agencies making Aadhaar mandatory for services or subsidies funded from Consolidated Fund of India will be responsible to provide convenient enrolment facility. "There can't be a situation where you say I don't want to enrol for Aadhaar," he said.
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