April 2016 News

Union Govt Orders Closure Of Aadhaar Centres In JK

2 April 2016
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Srinagar: Despite the centre government passing Aadhaar Bill making biometric identification of citizens mandatory for transferring subsidies, the Union Home Ministry has closed down all permanent Aadhaar enrolment centre's in Jammu and Kashmir which is likely to hamper enrolment of left over population in the state. The enrolment of citizens under Aadhaar in JK has been sluggish owing to various factors. As per sources, there are still around 35 lakh people out of total 1.25 crore odd souls in JK whose biometrics are yet to be enrolled and their details need to be sent to the Union Home Ministry's Registrar General of India, for them to continue availing various schemes of the government. The decision of the Union Home Ministry will imply that 344 Aadhaar enrolment centre established in tehsils and district headquarters of the state will be closed down as a result of which people whose Aadhaar cards have mistakes or need any rectification will have nowhere to go. Further, it would hamper the enrolment of left over population. Officials said that the union government has taken the decision despite repeated pleas by the JK government seeking extension in operation of these centers. 'The agreement of the PECs contract with vendors is coming to end by 3lst March 2016 and State Coordinator has been asked, vide letter no. N-9-1-2016 from the Office of the Registrar General, Government of India, to direct all the respective Deputy Commissioners to take possession of all the hardware deployed at PECs like laptops, finger print scanners, web cam, which are the property of Office of Registrar General of India (Registration),' said a communiqué of IT department. A senior IT department official said that the decision of the Union Home Ministry will affect Aadhaar enrolments. 'Governor and Chief Secretary have already written to the Union Home Ministry seeking extension of Permanent Aadhaarcentres for citizens as the closure of these centres will have severe impact on the enrolments,' he said adding that however the centre government has not paid any heed to the pleas of the state government. The official said that the biometric enrolment of people in JK was started late in comparison to other states and in this situation JK should have been provided extra time to operate the permanent Aadhaarcentres. The Lok Sabha last month cleared the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, as a Money Bill. The centre government would save crore of rupees by routing government subsidies through the unique identification or Aadhaar system now that it has statutory backing.