February 24, 2024

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More Aadhaar (UID) Centres Set Up Around India

Aadhaar
Image credit: Unique Identification Authority of India

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has opened 28 Aadhaar Seva Kendras (ASKs) as part of its plan to open 114 stand-alone Aadhaar enrolment and update centres across the country.

Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identity card, was launched by the government to promote digital transformation. The JAM (Jan Dhan- Aadhaar-Mobile phones) trinity played a significant part in the development of digital payments in the country.

These 28 are in addition to about 38,000 Aadhaar enrolment centres run by banks, post offices, and state governments around the country.

These ASKs, which are open on all days of the week, have catered to over 300,000 residents, according to a press release.

The centres handle up to 1,000 enrolments and update requests per day. They are closed only on public holidays. UIDAI plans to set up ASKs in 53 cities across the country.

While Aadhaar enrolment is free, a nominal charge of IN 50 (about US $0.70) is payable for updating details like adding a mobile number to Aadhaar, updating an address, etc.

ASKs have an efficient token management system that guides residents to relevant stages of the enrolment/update process in a hassle-free manner.

As these centres are air-conditioned and designed with adequate seating capacity, residents who have been provided a token will not have to stand in a queue.

UIDAI recently announced that now over 1.25 billion residents of India have the identity card, as OpenGov reported earlier.

This milestone comes along with the rapidly increasing use of the card as a primary document of identification by Aadhaar holders. This is evident by the fact that Aadhaar-based authentication services have been used close to 370 billion times since its inception.

Also, residents are more inclined to update their card details. UIDAI recorded about 3.3 billion successful Aadhaar updates (biometric and demographic). At present, UIDAI receives about 300,000 Aadhaar updates requests every day.

These new centres are in line with the ‘The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019’ that replaces the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.

The decision will enable the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to have a more robust mechanism to serve public interests and prevent the misuse of Aadhar cards.

Subsequent to this amendment, no individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of an Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing their identity unless it is provided by a law made by Parliament.

For the convenience of the general public when opening of bank accounts, the proposed amendments will allow the use of an Aadhaar number for voluntary authentication as an acceptable KYC (Know-Your-Customer) document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

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