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Aadhaar usage, enrolments plunge in November after SC order
Posted on: 03-12-2018 , 09:00:AM | DY365 Bureau

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 December 3, 2018: Aadhaar authentications and enrolments fell in November to the lowest levels in 2018 after the Supreme Court restricted the use of the unique identity scheme. 

About 866,000 enrolments were reported last month, as per the online dashboard of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), down from a high of 7.4 million in January and 2.2 million in October. The number of authentications using Aadhaar dropped about 27 per cent to 824 million in November from about 1.12 billion in March. 

Aadhaar-based authentications using e-KYC (fingerprints or iris) more than halved to 154 million last month from a high of 370 million in March. The Supreme Court, while upholding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar on September 26, limited its use to government subsidies and certain services and ordered that it was not mandatory to link it to bank accounts and mobile numbers. 

The apex court also stopped mandatory linking of Aadhaar for school admissions and exam enrolment, which is significant because most of the people without the biometric ID in the country are those below 18 years of age. Enrolments declined by almost two-thirds from 2.5 million in September. 

As per UIDAI records, 1.22 billion people in the country have been assigned an Aadhaar and those without it are mostly children. About 130 million are still to get an Aadhaar and almost all of them are children, including 60 million below five years of age, as per UIDAI. Fall in authentications was “expected” because Aadhaar is no longer required to be linked to banking and mobile phone services, a senior government official told ET, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

“The high levels reported earlier this year were due to people linking their mobile phones and bank accounts to Aadhaar. Usage of Aadhaar by private agencies has also been curbed after the SC order. People using Aadhaar to receive government subsidies will continue to use it for the same and hence the authentication levels are expected to settle at about 800 million per month,” the official said. 

However, officials denied the fall in enrolments meant that the people had stopped getting the number, pointing out that almost every adult in the country already had an Aadhaar and enrolments would drop over time. 

“There is a challenge involved in getting children enrolled for an Aadhaar. Some states like Haryana have tried to do that along with the child’s birth,” an official said. 


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