Even as the public response to enrolment in Aadhaar card is fast picking up, shortage of trained manpower is hampering the exercise.

Ever since Aadhaar was notified (notification of areas for Aadhaar enrolment was done in phases), initially there were hitches in terms of lack of public response, followed by lack of adequate machinery such as gadgets to capture the bio-metric data and iris (image of an eye). When there was an overwhelming response from the public, the agencies entrusted with the work found the gadgets and the manpower inadequate.

Amendment to the LPG control order by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas making Aadhaar card mandatory resulted in more people turning up for the card. Authorities then managed to get adequate gadgets and supporting systems. But owing to lack of adequate trained manpower the cannot be expedited. Candidates will have to clear an online examination at the portal of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

At present there are only a handful of candidates who have cleared the testing and certification available for doing the enrolment. One of the agencies has only 40 certified candidates for Coimbatore and five for the Nilgiris. With this manpower, it has to manage the regular counters already functioning and the special camps being organised elsewhere. When the trained candidates go on leave, work suffers.

Long queues and time-consuming enrolment work often led to frayed tempers. Some even thought of giving up the idea of enrolling. Manpower constraints had resulted in many agencies, including government departments, being forced to put off the launch of Aadhaar enrolment. Only five persons could take the online examination at the portal per day. This was also a constraint. The online portal of the UIDAI now offers the examination in Hindi, English and Marathi and more languages are in the offing soon, says the official website. When the UIDAI announces the result of at least the 100 batches of candidates who took the examination, pressure at the enrolment centres will be eased.

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