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Ranchi, Jan. 6: Fresh from a nifty introduction of hand-held ATMs in a set of Jharkhand’s villages, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) today announced that it would add a link to its website to enable beneficiaries to directly their download Aadhaar numbers

Director-general and mission director of UIDAI Ram Sewak Sharma, who was in the capital today, said the link (eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in) in the website (www.uidai.gov.in) would be launched on Monday.

Applicants who fail to receive Aadhaar numbers through post after they are generated stand to benefit from the new link.

“We are receiving complaints from people that they have not received their Aadhaar numbers though they had enrolled months earlier. So, we now plan to launch the new portal. People can browse the website and download their numbers directly if they have already been generated,” Sharma told reporters.

A beneficiary is expected to receive his or her Aadhaar card with the unique number within a month from the date of enrolment. The card arrives via postal service at the person’s address. However, delay in printing of Aadhaar cards with their numbers is holding up immediate dispatch of the documents.

Since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh kicked off the enrolment process for Aadhaar on September 19, 2010, 20 crore people have already signed up while the unique number has been generated for 10.5 crore individuals.

Sharma said in Jharkhand, 85 lakh residents had been enrolled for Aadhaar, of whom 42 lakh have already received the numbers.

The UIDAI also began its second stage of the mission, use of the unique numbers, in Jharkhand.

A pilot project in three districts — Ranchi, Hazaribagh and Seraikela-Kharsawan — has been launched to test the use of the numbers.

Sharma, who had come to Jharkhand for a first-hand account of the second stage of the mission, visited Hazaribagh yesterday.

“We have been able to successfully test financial transactions of as many as 1,000 MGNREGS workers during the last fortnight in the course of our pilot project. After a week or so, the use of the unique number could be extended to other parts of the country,” he said.

Workers associated with the rural job scheme have been able to open accounts in various banks by using their Aadhaar numbers.

As financial institutions in rural areas are scattered far from each other, workers need to walk miles to withdraw cash. To help their cause, local youths are being selected by banks to function as correspondents. A micro hand-held ATM is handed to them so that they can reach out to villages.

“When a villager wants to withdraw money from his account, the banking correspondent types his Aadhaar number on the micro ATM,” explained Sharma.

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