Assam to roll out Aadhaar from Oct
Aadhaar enrolment, which was delayed in Assam for over four years owing to “citizenship concerns”, will finally be rolled out early next month through 1,241 centres.
The enrolment process had been carried out in Golaghat, Nagaon and Sonitpur districts as a pilot project in August 2014 but not extended on the apprehension that illegal migrants might acquire Aadhaar cards and show them as proof of citizenship.
The state government, however, decided to start the process in May this year after the Centre clarified that Aadhaar neither confers, nor is a proof of citizenship.
Officials in the general administration department (GAD), authorised to carry out the exercise, said on Thursday that it had selected six firms for the enrolment as per guidelines of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
The firms are likely to take at least a year to complete enrolment of 3.16 crore residents, who are yet to get their Aadhaar cards.
“Of the total 3.4 crore estimated population, only 24.34 lakh have Aadhaar numbers so far. The entire state has been divided into 10 zones for the enrolment,” said a statement.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit number issued by the UIDAI to all citizens.
The enrolment procedure involves collection of biometric data like thumb impression, iris scan, photograph along with proof of age, address and identity for an Aadhaar number.
The statement said the GAD had held a review meeting recently with the additional deputy commissioners, who will monitor the exercise at the district level.
The deputy commissioners have been designated as the enrolment authorities at the district level.
“The application forms will be provided free of cost to the residents at the enrolment centre. However, the forms can also be downloaded from the UIDAI website. Once the application is submitted, the Aadhaar card can be downloaded online within 12 days. Aadhaar is considered a proof of residence and not proof of citizenship,” said the statement.
Aadhaar card is provided free of cost and the number can be used while opening a bank account, applying for passport, booking e-tickets and in other cases as identity proof.
The department has asked the district administration officials to carry out awareness programmes regarding Aadhaar enrolment, it said.
Some banks and post office branches, however, are already carrying out the exercise in Assam after being authorised to do so by the UIDAI.
The Centre had earlier extended the deadline for connecting Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers till March 31 next year.