Government Working on Policy to Allow Aadhaar Enrolment of Indians Abroad

New Delhi: The Government has decided that Aadhaar enrolment of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) should be eventually allowed to help them authenticate their identity digitally, Parliament was informed today.

In a written reply, the union minister for planning, Rao Inderjit Singh said, “The government has decided that a longer term goal should be to expand Aadhaar enrolment activities in order to ensure that all persons on the Indian soil (Resident Indian, NRIs, OCI/PIO and visa holding visitors) shall be empowered with a unique identity/identifier that can authenticated on a digital platform any time anywhere.”

At present all residents including Indian national and foreigners with valid visas can be enrolled and provided Aadhaar number by the UIDAI. Under the Aadhaar project, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is providing a unique identity numbers to residents, which can be verified digitally using the database.

As per the official sources, UIDAI is working on the policy for Aadhaar enrolment of NRIs, PIOs and OCIs after receiving a direction from the government on the issue. However the minister said in its reply that no timeframe has been formulated at this stage for achieving the goal.

The Aadhaar number helps in availing various services and benefits provided by the government. It is also a valid know your customers (KYC) document for various services including banking, telecom, cooking gas subsidy, vehicle registration driving license, government scholarships, pension and public distribution system.

The UIDAI was set up in January 2009 to issue Aadhaar numbers. It has generated 89.43 Aadhaar numbers so far as per the information provided on UIDAI’s website.