Uniformity across the country, need of hour
A sharp rise in the registration of Aadhaar cards in the last two months shows how the card is providing multiple benefits to the people across the country. According to media reports, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) records say that 93 per cent of the adults registered for the Aadhaar cards last year.
The UIDAI statistics show that in October, nearly 12.19 million people took Aadhaar membership, but the figure dropped to 10.49 million in November. But by December, the membership had risen to 16.05 million. It brings home the fact that demonetisation has led to a rise in the enrolment of Aadhaar membership. Reports also add that by the first week of January, more than 3.63 million people have come under the Aadhaar registration.
At present, in the UIDAI assigned States and Union Territories, the Aadhaar saturation among the adults account for around 98 per cent, whereas in the States and Union Territories under the Registrar General of India, only around 72 per cent have opted for it.
The Government must take immediate action to address these gaps so as to expedite the entire process of Aadhaar enrolment. As the UIDAI was established on January 28, 2009, and it is on its way to completing eight years, the entire enrolment process should have been over by now. Some of the people from the States in the far flung North-East are yet to see their Aadhaar registration till date.
But then, given the multiple benefits of the card holders, Aadhaar registration must be available for all Indians in a uniform manner. Else, the Aadhaar membership will lead to a scenario where many will remain outside its purview.
It is hoped that in the near future, Aadhaar members will be able to fully utilise all the facilities for cashless transactions. This would be another step to complete the cycle of demonetisation without much effort. Some experts say that there has been an emerging belief that the 12-digit number card may help in fast bank transactions in the post-demonetisation era.
Regardless of the demonetisation drive, the Aadhaar membership will be more than an identity card for all the Indian citizens. Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, the UIDAI is solely responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of its life-cycle. This underlines how the statutory authority has taken full control of this crucial process.
The Act also provides for complete authority to the UIDAI in developing the policy, procedure and the system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and ensuring their security as well. In an age of rising cyber crimes and potential threat to advanced terror attacks across India, the Government must see to it that the UIDAI ropes in other security agencies for making its database safe.
This will instill complete trust on all the Aadhaar members and further help the Government to make this card a gateway to a new world of benefits.