To universalise coverage of Aadhaar, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is planning to launch institutionalised doorstep services for enrolling senior citizens and the disabled. This will ensure that even those who cannot go to the enrolment centres can be covered by the unique identity scheme. “While around 91% of Maharashtra has been covered, the BMC and MMRDA region is a challenge,” admitted a senior UIDAI official.
“We plan to target (senior citizens, the disabled and infirm) on a one-to-one basis,” the official said, adding that a system would be institutionalised wherein enrolment agencies would be asked to provide doorstep services to such people. Pointing out that the UIDAI also had a concept paper on social inclusion, wherein the focus areas while designing the enrolment process included the disabled and the aged, the official said state governments had also been sensitised on the issue.
He added that they would ask the state government to set up a helpline for such people to contact the authorities for facilitation. “The nearest enrolment agency can be asked to go to these people and register them,” he said, adding that a web-based solution to register these requests could also be launched. While such requests were being entertained by the authorities and enrolment agencies, the official said the system would be institutionalised now.
Aadhaar numbers have been generated for around 90.41% of Maharashtra’s projected population of 11.89 crore in 2015 with 99.94% of those above the age of 18 years being registered. A large portion of the left-over population in this age group could include senior citizens and the disabled, the official admitted.
The 1.19 crore uncovered population in Maharashtra includes 64 lakh children under the age of five and 55 lakh below 18 years. The UIDAI coverage for the zero to five age cohort is just 41% while that for the five to 18 years group is 81%. There are plans to ensure that by September-end, there is blanket coverage of adults (18 years and above).
“We are targeting the left over population aggressively,” the official said, stating that collectors and commissioners had been asked to deploy enrolment kits on a war footing. The UIDAI has also launched a push SMS service wherein people in Mumbai, Thane and Palghar districts who are yet to enrol for Aadhaar can inform the authority about their pin codes. The UIDAI will act on these enrolment requests by setting up special enrolment camps in the vicinity of these people and inform them accordingly.
Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nashik are among the districts with the highest percentage of uncovered population with 12.87 lakh people yet to be covered in Mumbai alone. A universal roll-out of the unique identity cards will help the Centre’s plans to push the trinity of Jan Dhan-Aadhaar and mobile (JAM) to enable social security, delivery of welfare schemes and financial inclusion.
The state government’s directorate of information technology has already procured 3,929 enrolment kits and plans to deploy 4,400 tablets for registration in anganwadis and schools. Around 3,900 of these Android-based tabs will be procured for the women and child development department and used in anganwadis. Maharashtra will establish 4,000 permanent enrolment centres (PECs) with one such PEC for every 25,000 population in urban areas and one per revenue circle in rural pockets.