January 13, 2016 –
A news report claims that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the government agency in charge of Aadhaar, missed the deadline to enroll every resident of India late last year.
Aadhaar, recognized as the world’s largest universal civil ID program and biometric database, is used by the Indian government to provide social services. To date, Aadhaar has issued over 900 million Aadhaar numbers, and has enrolled approximately 850 million people, with a goal of ultimately enrolling 1.28 billion people.
According to the article in Mint, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked UIDAI last September to complete enrollment of all Indian residents by December 31, 2015. Due to the missed deadline, UIDAI will be undertaking a “multi-prong” approach to accelerate enrollment.
The article notes that UIDAI will activate all existing Aadhaar enrollment centers (AECs), along with identifying and equipping existing information technology-enabled outlets at various government departments and agencies in states to double as AECs.
The story reports that the government will use both child-care centers and schools to enroll those aged up to 18 years. UIDAI is also asking state governments to procure additional enrollment kits.
“We are asking states which have large chunks of population to be enrolled to procure more kits,” an Indian government official told Mint. “Out of the 330 million yet to be provided a unique identity number, 194.8 million people are in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. We are advising state governments to utilize places such as high school computer laboratories for setting up centers for enrolment.”
Modi’s government is anxious to register all Indian residents, in order to implement its scheme to expand social services to include a new universal healthcarescheme, along with enhanced monitoring of government employee attendance and truancy. The government also wants to expand the use of the Aadhaar biometric system for national security and crime-related surveillance.