To make it easier for citizens living in rural areas, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has allowed the Common Service Centres (CSCs), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) under the Ministry of IT and Electronics, to begin an Aadhaar updating facility.
Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identity card, was launched by the government to promote digital transformation. The JAM (Jan Dhan- Aadhaar-Mobile phones) trinity has played a significant part in the development of digital payments in the country.
The CSCs will operate as banking correspondents (BCs). The Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a tweet said that around 20,000 CSCs will now be able to offer this service to residents in remote parts of the country.
According to a press release, he urged the CSC VLE (village level entrepreneurs) to start the Aadhaar work with responsibility and as per instructions issued by UIDAI in this regard. He also stated that this facility will help a large number of citizens to get Aadhar services closer to their place of residence.
UIDAI has set the deadline for June to start the work in CSCs with banking facilities to upgrade the required infrastructure and get other necessary approvals. However, the CSC CEO Dr Dinesh Tyagi said he has asked all BCs to immediately finish technical and other upgradation, which the UIDAI had requested so that Aadhaar updating work can be started sooner.
The commencement of the Aadhaar update services through CSC is also a big relief during the lockdown restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With these 20,000 additional centres available to update Aadhaar, the users do not visit Aadhaar centres in bank branches or post offices for this work, the release added.
In January, UIDAI opened 28 Aadhaar Seva Kendras (ASKs) as part of its plan to open 114 stand-alone Aadhaar enrolment and update centres across 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.
Before the nationwide lockdown, the ASKs catered to over 300,000 residents.
The centres handled up to 1,000 enrolments and update requests per day. 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.
At the beginning of the year, over 1.25 billion Indians had the identity card. 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).