The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has made it mandatory to have an Aadhaar number or its enrolment slip for availing government subsidies and benefits.
The move was announced by UIDAI in a circular issued on August 11.
As per the circular, marked to all central ministries and state governments, more than 99 % of the adults in the country now have an Aadhaar number to their name. As per section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, a person who hasn't been assigned an Aadhaar number “shall be offered alternate and viable means of identification for delivery of the subsidy, benefit or service”.
The new circular states that in such cases, a person can make an application for enrolment and can avail the benefits, subsidies, and services through alternate and viable means of identification till an Aadhaar number is issued.
The circular highlights the impact of the introduction of Aadhaar in delivering services to people and states that it has improved the experience of people in availing benefits.
The UIDAI had earlier offered the facility of virtual identifier (VID) to residents also. It is a temporary and revocable random 16-digit number which is mapped with the Aadhaar number. It can be used in place of Aadhaar number for authentication or e-KYC services. Entities were also requested to ensure that authentication using VID is provided.
The latest UIDAI circular, however, states that authentication using VID may be made by government entities.
“Some government entities may require the Aadhaar number in their respective databases for smooth implementation of the social welfare schemes. Therefore, such government entities may require beneficiaries to provide Aadhaar numbers and made VID optional,” the UIDAI has said in the circular.
In addition, the UIDAI also mentioned that Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment number may be needed for the issuance of different certificates used for availing benefits and services.