Your child will soon get a few visitors, if s/he is below five. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) plans to register infants for Aadhaar cards in maternity hospitals, anganwadis and nurseries, instead of making you go to them.
“We have come out with an Android tab-based machine which costs less than Rs 10,000, compared with the usual machine that costs lakhs. This will be used for enrolling children below five years of age,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey, director general, UIDAI, told dna. Since they are portable, it is easier to carry them around, he said.
“It will be used to photograph children and collect their fingerprints and the Aadhaar numbers of the parents,” said Pandey. “We have developed the software. Now the state governments can procure the tabs,” said Pandey.
Maharashtra is among the first to jump on to the bandwagon. “The state has already deployed 120 tabs and plans to increase it up to 500,” said M Sankaranarayanan, state director (information technology). He said the tabs would be procured by citizen service centres and handed over to village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) for deployment. Of the 120 tabs, 20 each are meant for Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad and 40 for Nagpur.
The UIDAI recently held a national-level workshop and a pilot project with the Aadhaar-based application was implemented in Thane. “Enrolling more children will result in our coverage going up,” said a UIDAI official.
Instead of stressing on proof of identity and proof of address, the system will seek a proof of relationship between the parents and the child, Sankaranarayanan said.
“The thumb impression of the parent will be checked real time (for authentication of identity),” he said. The lesser time taken for registration means one tab can enrol up to 100 children daily. The packet will be uploaded online instantly and the kits are less cumbersome than the conventional kits, ensuring better portability.
How the numbers stack up
In India, 91% of those above 18 years have enrolled for Aadhaar. The percentage of those between the age of five and 18 years is 59%. The Aadhaar coverage for the country is 75%. However, in the left-out population, about 77%, or around 23.58 crore of 30.32 crore, are below 18 years of age.
In Maharashtra, around 88% has enrolled for Aadhaar. The percentage of registration below six years of age is 19% — slightly higher than the national average. The left-out population as on August-end is around 1.40 crore and the state plans to cover it by the year-end.
Though districts like Mumbai (90.19%), Ahmednagar (90.75%), Wardha (97.82%), Satara (91.10%) and Sindhudurg (90.70%) have seen the registration of over 90% of people, some like Nanded (80%), Solapur (81.09%), Yavatmal (83.15%) and Latur (84.44%) have performed below expectations.
Maharashtra has a population of 11.23 crore, according to the 2011 census
The state government plans to attain 100% coverage by year-end by focusing on schools and anganwadis to cover children.