Maharashtra: Hospitals, anganwadis, schools to get Aadhaar facilities

To ensure universal coverage of Aadhaar and tap children and youths who lag in registering for the national unique identity scheme, the state government will launch enrolment facilities in hospitals, anganwadis and schools.

It is also planning to start over 4,500 permanent enrolment centres (PECs) across Maharashtra, with plans to ensure that eventually there is one PEC for every 25,000 people in urban areas.

While Maharashtra has an Aadhaar coverage of 89.59%, it is just 40.37% for those in the zero to five age group. This coverage is a much healthier 98.82% for those above 18 and 80.25% between five and 18 years. The state is looking at a three-point catchment to register this uncovered population in hospitals (for newborns), anganwadis and schools.

A universal roll-out of the unique identity cards will help the Centre’s plans to push the trinity of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) to enable social security, delivery of welfare schemes and financial inclusion.

“We will try to start (registration) in hospitals for newborns to give them Aadhaar numbers. The logic is to catch them young,” M Sankaranarayanan, director, information technology, government of Maharashtra, told dna. The state is planning to launch this facility in around 500 hospitals.

“This will start from government hospitals and we will later think of expanding it to other institutions where the number of child births is large,” he said, adding that some other states were also trying this out with good results.

This model will be implemented with help from the state public health department.

In the next stages of the “three catchment points” strategy, the enrolment will also be extended to anganwadis and schools. In a meeting earlier this week, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had reviewed the Aadhaar ecosystem, including enrolment, seeding and direct benefit transfer, where this strategy was agreed to in-principle.

Sankaranarayanan said they would also adopt a model wherein women and child development department staff would be trained and empowered with tabs and enrolment kits to register children in anganwadis.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched an Android-based software to register children below the age of five. These tabs will be used to photograph children and collect the fingerprints and the Aadhaar numbers of the parent for validation.

“In addition to that, there will be 4,500-odd permanent enrolment centres in all revenue circle headquarters. In cities, there will be one permanent enrolment centre for every 25,000 people… We are trying to see if we can organise a camp every three months in every school,” said Sankaranarayanan, adding that they would issue formal orders in this regard soon.

The state is also trying to work out an institutional framework wherein registration kits can be taken to the homes of those who are sick, disabled and bed-ridden and, hence, are unable to come to enrolment centres.

“Today, the enrolment is going on in camp mode and we are trying to move to an institutional mode. There will also be a growth in population (which can be registered for Aadhaar),” he said.