Aadhaar not mandatory to avail govt services: Rajeev Shukla

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Aadhaar-thmniNew Delhi, August 8, 2013: Aadhaar card is not a must for availing services like opening bank accounts, admission in school and obtaining passport, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

“Aadhaar card is not mandatory to avail government services like opening basic (bank) accounts, admissions in schools, obtaining passport etc by any individual,” Planning Minister Rajeev Shukla said in written reply to Rajya Sabha.

However, according to the Minister, the consumers would be required to seed their Aadhaar number with their bank account to avail subsidy on domestic cooking gas (LPG) after three months from the launch of Direct Benefit Transfer (for LPG) in their area.

The government has launched the DBT for LPG consumers in 20 districts in the country. There are plans to launch the DBT in other parts of the country.

The Minister clarified that Aadhaar is not mandatory for receiving domestic LPG cylinder at market determined price.

Meanwhile, in another written reply to the upper House, Mr. Shukla informed that as on July 26 this year, the total number of Aadhaar enrolments generated was 39.36 crore and the number of enrolment packets under process was 42.65 crore.

Mr. Shukla also said that about 1.44 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated in Delhi as on July 26, 2013.

He assured the House that there is no possibility of enrolment agencies misusing the collected data as the moment enrolment process in respect of an individual is completed, the data captured by the agency is encrypted and stored in a digitally encrypted format.

The Minister also informed the House that as many as 1,051 permanent enrolment centres were there in the states where UIDAI is enrolling residents.

The facilities available at these centres include new enrolment, biometric updates, demographic updates, e-aadhaar letters printing, status check, lost EID/UID enrolments and re-enrolments.

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), implementing Aadhaar project, has plans to increase the number of these centres to about 2,000 in 18 states and union territories by March 2014.

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