March 2016 News

JK Slow In Aadhaar Enrollment

20 March 2016
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir is among the states where Aadhaar cards have been generated at slow pace, not delivered or those distributed are having incorrect details pushing its purpose to the backburner. As per UIDAI data, only 54 percent population out of 1.25 crore odd souls in JK have received Aadhaar cards so far. JK as per UIDAI data is ranked at 31st position in India having generated lesser number of biometric cards in comparison to national average of 78 percent. Further as per official data , JK has so far only recorded biometric data of only 88 lakh souls, leaving around 30 lakh souls unregistered as their biometric data is yet to be digitalized while biometric cards have been issued to only 54 percent population. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a central government agency of India. Its objective is to collect the biometric and demographic data of residents, store them in a centralised database, and issue a 12-digit unique identity number called Aadhaar to each resident. It is considered the world's largest national identification number project. Further data reveals that in Srinagar 3.03 lakh Aadhaar cards have been issued out of total digitalized population of 9 lakh souls leaving around 6 lakh populace without biometric cards. In Bandipora, 4.54 lakh cards were issued out of 6.9 lakh enrolments, Budgam 4.35 lakh out of 6.8 lakh enrolments, Baramulla 5.56 lakh out of 8.93 lakh, Bandipora 2.28 out of 3.27 lakh enrolments. Pulwama 3.27 cards out of 4.37 lakh, Anantnag 5.98 lakh out of 7.44 lakh, Kulgam 3.37 lakh digitalized out of 3.68 lakh. Interestingly, the dismal process of the state in generating biometric cards will put population in soup as the Centre last week passed the Aadhaar Bill that aims to ensure targeted services to intended beneficiaries by assigning them unique identity numbers. Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed that the Aadhaar should be 'Voluntary not mandatory'. A senior official here stated that the delay in generation of Aadhar cards is due to slack approach of UIDAI. 'The job of collection of biometric data which includes collection of finger prints and photographs of individual citizens has been outsourced to the local IT companies who have almost completed the data collection job, but now onus lies on UIDAI who have to generate biometric cards and then dispatch them to the enrolled populace,' he said adding that however the delay is because of the UIDAI. Even there has been postal delays and accumulation of thousands of cards at different locations authorized by UIDAI as centres. The official added that the JK government has limited role in issuance of Aadhaar cards. Aadhaar project was announced with much fanfare in the state in August 2010, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was the first person to get himself enrolled However, the delay in generation of Aadhar cards has put people of JK in quagmire as now the unique identity card is pre-requisite for availing government subsidies including food and cooking gas.