New Delhi: Seeking to set at rest controversy over Aadhaar, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said UID is a number and not an identity card.
"The Aadhaar is actually a number, linked to that number is a biometric record which is centrally stored. The (Aadhaar) number comes in a form of card. But that card is not an identity card," Ahluwalia told PTI when asked about the raging controversy over the issue.
Some Cabinet Ministers have reportedly raised the issue pertaining to Aadhaar that whether it is a number or an identity card. The government has recently constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into the issue.
Elaborating his point of view, Mr Ahluwalia said, "I can tear up the card. As long as I have the number, I don't need the card. There is no such thing as UIDAI (Aadhaar) card. You need it only because you want to remember your number. If you stick your number in the wallet. That is fine."
As regards the GoM, he said, "There are concerns that if you issue a card which is mandatory, it will become basis for harassment so the GoM has been constituted to go into that issue only in relation to the (NMIC) card."
There is a separate proposal which is national multipurpose identity card (NMIC) which is being run by the Ministry of Home Affairs, he said adding that when the law was amended by the NDA government, this card (NMIC) was made mandatory.
The government has mandated that Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to enrol and collect biometrics details of 60 crore population of the country. The biometric details of rest of the 61 crore population would be collected under National Population Register project.