SHILLONG: The nation-wide identification of citizens by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by issuing a unique biometric-enabled number, called ‘Aadhaar’, to every Indian has been temporarily suspended in the city.
It may be mentioned that the Department of Posts had recently advertised about Aadhaar enrolment with separate dates being allotted for different areas in the city. But citizens had to return disappointed due to this temporary halt.
Speaking to The Shillong Times, a source from the Office of the Chief Post Master General (CPMG), Shillong said Shillong GPO is the implementing authority for the scheme which is a multi-registrar approach between UIDAI and Government of India. “We had already started it on a trial basis but the State Government suddenly intervened and requested us to halt the process. The government said it would first start an awareness workshop following which it will be resumed,” said the well placed source from the CPMG’s office.
But it is learnt that the State Government is miffed that the GPO had begun implementing the scheme without informing it. “The UIDAI has already taken up the matter with the State Government and these are top level discussions. We are only agents of the Central government. However, we will take the matter up with government officials and clear all the hurdles since there are many states in the country where it has already started,” said the source.
“The source also cautioned that residents should not mistake the Aadhar number as a valid citizenship document. It is not about citizenship but only an address proof. Citizens can utilize it for availing ration cards, PAN, car registration, students seeking admission in institutes in other states and availing various schemes. It is a robust proof of identity and is also valid abroad,’ the source said said. The liability of the postal department ends with the registration of citizens. The UIDAI will deliver the Aadhaar number at the residential address of the individual registered. It is free of cost. A citizen’s finger tip impression will be taken along with bio-metric impression of the retina and every family member will be issued with an Aadhaar number, the source informed, adding that it is very important that the head of the family avail an Aadhaar number as it will become easier for other family members to fall in line. “It is like introducing someone for opening a bank account,” she said.
The Aadhaar enrollment will cover all citizens and is running in collaboration with UIDAI and India Post. It will be implemented through the postal department due to its wide presence including in rural areas. In the near future the postal department will tie-up with local Durbar Shnong and move to all district headquarters.
Meanwhile, KS Kropha, Principal Secretary, Meghalaya said the government would take the final decision before going ahead with the implementation. “A workshop to familiarise people with the modalities is necessary,” Kropha said. “Apart from the Postal department, there will be other state agencies, Central agencies as registrars, which will work on the project,” Kropha said adding that all critical data has to be factored in.
If the Scheme is implemented only by the postal department a lot of data will not be collected, so, there has to be a clear format and that will be shared among all the registrars with additional information. “Complete data of citizens should be obtained to avoid duplication and it should be compiled with all information at one go to avoid coming repeatedly. The UID card enables a citizen to avail all government schemes,” Kropha informed, adding the workshop will be convened shortly.