UIDAI chief holds discussions with Kiran on project’s progress

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is hopeful of covering another 40 crore population under the Aadhar cards in the coming two years.

UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani said the authority had taken steps to address the shortcomings like duplication and fake enrolments identified during the first phase and efforts were underway to develop Resident Database in all States.

Mr. Nilekani told reporters after discussions on the progress of the project with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Tuesday, that the authority had completed enrolment of 20 crore people in the first phase. While Aadhar card was conceived as the unique identity in public distribution system, rural employment guarantee scheme, scholarships and disbursal of social welfare pensions, the UIDAI was in consultations with banks to expand the banking correspondents, equipped with micro ATMs, to more areas.

Replying to queries, he said being a unique identity, the Aadhar card would reduce duplication and optimise distribution of benefits to targeted beneficiaries avoiding scope for fraud. He admitted that instances of fake enrolment were detected in some cases, but the robust back-end systems put in place by the authority had enabled their timely detection.

“Aadhar being the unique identity will provide comprehensive and integrated data about who is eligible for entitlement of benefits,” he said. Asked whether the Home Ministry’s proposal to introduce Resident Identity Cards (RIC) would not contradict the work of the authority, he said the UIDAI’s work was complimentary to the National Population Register and the RIC. “Aadhar card is a resident number, not a citizenship number,” he said.

Update centres

On the complaints of cards lost in transit, Mr. Nilekani said the AIDAI was looking into the issue and would come up with alternate systems to avoid recurrence of such incidents. Asked about the errors in data including the typographic errors, he said permanent update centres would be set up in the States to upgrade the information from time to time.

Referring to Andhra Pradesh, he said the State accounted for close to five crore enrolment, constituting 25 per cent of the total 20 crore enrolment. Cards had been dispatched to 4.32 crore beneficiaries so far. The remaining enrolment would be completed within two months.

He praised the State for its excellent infrastructure and the systematic way in which it was taking up the enrolment process.