While the Aadhaar card is not yet made mandatory for citizens of India, the government agencies in future can make it compulsory for availing benefits from their pro-people schemes.

"If a certain authority feels that the beneficiaries of a particular scheme need to possess Aadhar cards, they can make it mandatory for them for that particular scheme," said Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India, on Monday here.

Mr. Nilekani said that the authority cannot make it mandatory for the citizens of India, but hinted that it is up to various agencies which implement the schemes or provide subsidies. According to him, the agencies could range from state governments to various central ministries.

Mr. Nilekani was speaking after conducting a day long e-Know You Customer workshop by UIDAI for on-boarding service providers at Mumbai.

According to Mr. Nilekani, the decision will be solely taken by that particular department or state government. “In a scheme like subsidy on LPG connections, if the concerned ministry finds it necessary, it can take a decision of making Aadhaar as a mandatory document,” he said. However, he made it clear that there is no such proposal in his knowledge at present. The UIDAI till now has issued Aadhaar card to more than 40 crore residents of India.

Aadhaar has already been notified as an officially valid document. In addition, the UIDAI has designed the e-KYC service, whereby the same can be furnished electronically.

Through the process of Aadhaar authentication, the resident can authorise UIDAI to release their KYC data to a service provider, either in person or online. Only upon successful authentication of the resident, the UIDAI will provide the name of the resident, address, date of birth, gender and photograph to the service provider.

“The UIDAI expects its e-KYC service to enhance customer convenience and greatly increase business efficiency across sectors that require proof of identity and address to open customer accounts,” said Vijay Madan, DG, UIDAI.