The Unique Identification Authority of India, or the UIDAI, which issues one of the most important identity cards for Indian citizens, is planning to expand its services with two ambitious pilot programmes. With its new plan, newborn infants in the country will soon get a temporary Aadhaar number, a report has said. This will be updated with a renewed with biometric data “on attainment of adulthood,” it said. The UIDAI, in a bid to deepen its roots in the country, also plans to update death registration records to tackle misuse of government schemes by using Aadhaar numbers of citizens who have passed away.
A report by Economic Times, citing two government officials who did not want to be named, said the UIDAI is now looking to “expand the ambit of Aadhaar to cover a person’s entire lifecycle” from birth to death. “The allocation of a UIDAI number at birth will ensure that children and families benefit from government programmes and no one is left out of the social security net,” said one of the officials, as per the report. On the other hand, the integration of Aadhaar numbers with death records is aimed at preventing misuse of government benefits.
The officials told ET that the pilot for these two programmes are set to begin soon. “Biometrics for kids are taken when they are at least five years old. Our teams can visit these new-borns’ families after that period and complete the formalities of registering their biometric, and allocating them a permanent Aadhaar number,” a senior official was quoted as saying.
The person said that the biometric parameters will be updated once the Aadhaar number holder turns 18 “as these parameters stabilise by then and remain the same for an (individual’s) remaining natural life.” He further noted that “ it will also ensure that multiple IDs are not generated for the same child.”
Noting that the provision to allocate provisional Aadhaar numbers for new-born children existed since its launch, Ashok Pal Singh, a former deputy director-general with UIDAI said it was “encouraging to see the plan being implemented now,” reported ET.
On the front of integrating death registrations with the Aadhaar database, on the other hand, the UIDAI plans to connect with public and private hospitals for information on deceased persons to ensure that there is no misappropriation, said the report quoting the officials.
The jump in death rates amid the Covid pandemic has led to an increase in cases of direct benefit transfers still being deposited to the Aadhaar numbers of deceased citizens, as per government sources. “Pensions of people who have passed away recently are still being withdrawn or automatically credited to their accounts as the Aadhaar number is still active. That is undesirable,” the report quoting the officials added.
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