Internal committee to “thoroughly review” existing process

Weeks after the Union Cabinet decided that the task of collecting biometric and demographic data of residents would be shared by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the National Population Register, Aadhar enrolments across the country have been suspended as the process is reviewed.

The enrolment process is on a “six-week break”, senior officials in the UIDAI told The Hindu, and during this period “modalities” on how to go forward with the second phase of this scheme will be finalised. Enrolments are slated to recommence by mid-April, after a “thorough review” of the existing process is conducted, the official said.

A committee has been set up within the UIDAI to conduct the review, involving stake-holders from across the country.

Last week, the enrolments crossed the 200-million mark. Though the mandate of the UIDAI has been extended, allowing the authority to go ahead with issuing 400 million more Aadhaar numbers, the old directive from the authority is yet to be revoked.

In January, the UIDAI had written to all State governments and registrars to stop enrolments, setting February 28 as the last date to submit enrolment data packets to the UID tech centre.

“Barring certain Union Territories, where some enrolments have been permitted for a few more days, the enrolment process has been stopped across the country,” the official said, adding that, in some sense, it was a large pilot project, and there was a need to pause and look at what worked and what did not.

The review involves sourcing reports on implementation and suggestions from registrars across the country.

It would also involve a “technological review” of the enrolment process in the front-end, and looking at making it more efficient. At the back-end, in the Central Identities Data Repository, where the data is processed and stored, some “reviews” will be conducted, another official said.

In Karnataka, enrolments at all the 2,245 centres (in 23 districts) were stopped on February 12, while the pan-India deadline, communicated to all registrars by the UIDAI, is February 15.

Till date, 1.41 crore enrolments have been completed in the State.

Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for e-Governance D.S. Ravindran said they had been receiving inquiries and emails on the scheme, but enrolment agencies had been informed well in advance, so there was no scope for confusion. Enrolments in Karnataka are being carried out by two registrars, the department of e-governance and the India Post.

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