Aadhaar Seva Kendras to Be Set Up by UIDAI in 53 Cities, Project to Cost Around Rs 300–400 Crore
Aadhaar (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, October 9: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), that issues the 12-digit biometric Aadhaar, is planning to set up Aadhaar Seva Kendras (Centres) in 53 cities across the country including all state capitals. These Aadhaar Seva Kendras, which will begin functioning by April 2019, will provide the facility of enrollment, correction or change of address facility. The concept by the UIDAI is similar to that of Passport Seva Kendras. The project of setting up of the Aadhaar Kendras is expected to cost around Rs 300-400 crore, official sources said.

UIDAI believes that this would mean that individuals will continue to need services such as enrolment and updation, if they want to use Aadhaar based offline modes. Reports inform that these Kendras will be UIDAI’s own and operate in addition to 30,000 centres, currently being run by banks and post offices, and in government premises (offering similar Aadhaar services). Aadhaar Online Services: UIDAI Says These Web-Based Services Will Not Be Accessible From Outside India.

The Aadhaar Seva Kendras will help people avail the facility to a book prior appointment for these services, the officials familiar with the development said, adding that each metro will have four of these centres, and other cities two centres each. Offline Aadhaar Verification Tools: Government Introduces QR Codes & Paperless KYC to Reduce Privacy Concerns. 

UIDAI officials on request of anonymity told PTI that the centres are aimed at offering convenience to individuals, looking to avail enrolment and update services. Reports inform that it is estimated that as many as 4 lakh people update their Aadhaar details (Address, photo, mobile number amongst others) every day, while enrolments stand at about one lakh. Aadhaar Verdict: List of Services for Which UIDAI Number Is Mandatory and for Those It’s Not.

The move comes just weeks after the recent Supreme Court judgement restricted the use of Aadhaar. The apex court has upheld the constitutional validity of ‘Aadhaar’ but limited the scope of the controversial biometric identity project, ruling it is not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions.

The court held that Aadhaar will remain mandatory for filing of Income Tax (IT) returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN) but struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 that permitted private entities like telecom companies or other corporate to avail of the biometric Aadhaar data. Aadhaar Declared Constitutionally Valid by Supreme Court, But It's Not Mandatory to Link it With Bank Accounts, Mobile Numbers.

However, the UIDAI has already clarified that service providers can use offline verification tools like eAadhaar and QR (Quick Response) code that leverage Aadhaar without authentication, any access to biometrics, or revealing the 12-digit number.