NEW DELHI: Are you still wondering whether you can make do without Aadhaar? You may soon need the 12-digit individual identification number for many more services, the unceasing debate over making it compulsory notwithstanding.
Directors of companies, small businesses and non-governmental organisations seeking registration and even individuals wishing to open demat accounts for market trading, or a simple bank account for that matter, may be asked to furnish Aadhaar, officials said. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar, recently identified 20 additional areas where the number can be mandated in the future, they said.
As per the Supreme Court’s directions last year, only six schemes are covered by Aadhaar at present. However, with Parliament passing the Aadhaar Act earlier this year, the UIDAI has identified more areas where the identification number can be mandated as per the law.
“No service will be denied for lack of Aadhaar,” a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.
ET reported on August 21 that the PMO has already directed that five child-specific schemes including Mid-Day Meal, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Integrated Child Development Services be now linked with Aadhaar.
The list goes on to include student enrolment in schools and colleges, and examinations conducted by the UPSC and Staff Selection Commission, where candidates may be asked to furnish Aadhaar for registration.
Aadhaar may be required for applying for a passport or for opening an account with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, as for subscribing to life, health and accidental insurance schemes, filing of income tax returns or applying for a Permanent Account Number.
ET had earlier reported that the Centre had transferred all states except Assam and Meghalaya to UIDAI from the Registrar General of India for Aadhaar enrolment. As part of a new strategy, the UIDAI is running an ‘Aadhaar Challenge’ scheme in states, seeking out adults who do not have Aadhaar and offering to enrol them immediately.
1.9 CRORE ADULTS OUTSIDE NET
Only 1.9 crore adults remain outside the enrolment net, as per the UIDAI. However, nearly 21.5 crore children below 18 years of age are still to get Aadhaar, prompting the PMO to order that enrolment be made part of five child-specific schemes and children be enrolled in schools and anganwadis twice in 2016-17 – in October this year and in March next year – and in the hospitals soon after birth.
Officials said the PMO has asked the departments overseeing the schemes to “own the enrolment work” of children and “get on-boarded as registrars” for the UIDAI, along with their state counterparts, to carry out the enrolment work of children at a fast pace.