JK Govt fails to resume Aadhaar enrollment for left out 33% population

JK Govt fails to resume Aadhaar enrollment for left out 33% population

Unable to finalize SOP with UIDAI from last 6 months

Despite now Aadhaar becoming mandatory for many central and state government welfare schemes, filing income tax returns and even for applying at different government educational institutions, Jammu and Kashmir Government’s due to its lackadaisical approach has failed to finalize standard operating procedures (SOPs) with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Despite passing of more than six months since the enrollments centres were shut down by the central government in the state, JK Government is yet to make any concrete progress so that the registration can be resumed.  About 33 percent of the state population is yet to register for Aadhaar, as there is no facility available for people so they can get their biometrics enrolled for securing Aadhaar cards. State government had earlier set the deadline of June for linking and making Aadhaar mandatory for receiving the subsidized ration under PDS.   

Sources informed Greater Kashmir that the failure on part of Information Technology Department has resulted in non-resumption of Aadhaar enrollments leaving local populace high and dry.

“Since last few months three IT secretaries have been shuffled, adding to it the resignation saga of IT Minister also complicated the issue,” said a senior official of IT department wishing anonymity.

He said that though Chief Secretary last week had conveyed meeting about the issue, however, there has not been any progress on ground regarding finalizing SOP for resumption of Aadhaar enrollment in JK.

“As a result of which Aadhaar enrollment centres in JK are closed for over five  months, as enrollment process was stalled by the Registrar General of India (RGI) and subsequently handed over collection of biometric data to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI),” said a senior IT Department official, adding, “Now the only hindrance in resumption is finalizing the SOPs with UIDAI as the earlier practices of capturing data by RGI has been updated by UIDAI for which there is a need of signing an agreement between state government and UIDAI.”

Registrar General of India which overlooks recording of biometric details in India had earlier asked the state government to stop operation of all enrollment centres as well as other types of centres established in government offices across JK. “There were 344 ECs operating across the state whose primary job was to generate Aadhaar cards and also rectify errors reported by the people who have already received NPR smart cards,” 

The JK High Court had earlier asked the state government to inform it as to how 33 percent of state’s population would avail benefits of Aadhaar when enrollment under the scheme has been closed already.   

A division bench of Justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur granted a week to state government’s counsel to respond to the supplementary affidavit filed by the petitioner.   

In the supplementary affidavit, advocate Syed Musaib has submitted that the total percentage of individuals enrolled with Aadhaar system as on March 15, 2016 is only 67 percent in the state.