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UIDAI devises a method to retrieve lost Aadhaar numbers

Government has also linked the number with several government subsidies and welfare schemes such as cooking gas

Surabhi Agarwal  |  New Delhi 

Under the new method, a person can put in the biometrics and the system will keep prompting for more demographic details till the back-end server zeros down to 10 possible matches

The Unique Identification Authority of India (Uidai), which administers the Aadhaar project, has devised a method to retrieve lost Aadhaar numbers. This assumes significance since the unique identity project has gained a significant mass in the country, with 750 million residents having an Aadhaar number. The National Democratic Alliance government has also linked the number with several government subsidies and welfare schemes such as cooking gas, making its use universal.

A government official said as a person can only enrol for Aadhaar once, there needed to be a mechanism to retrace the number in case the person has misplaced all possible links to it. “Enrolling again is not an option, as the system automatically rejects biometric details that have been registered once,” said the official.

Under the new method, a person can put in the biometrics and the system will keep prompting for more demographic details till the back-end server zeros down to 10 possible matches.

During the entire process, none of the details of the Aadhaar holders will be shown to the person or the operator till the time an exact match has been found. This has been done keeping in mind the design of the Aadhaar project, where the system doesn’t reveal any information about the resident and only tries to authenticate the identity replying with a yes or no.

The official added the move had been prompted by many people putting in requests for lost Aadhaar number or enrollment slips in the recent past.

The UID project was launched by the United Progressive Alliance government in 2009, with the aim to give a unique identity to each resident and curtail leakages and better targeting of government subsidies.

However, the current NDA government has used the Aadhaar platform with much more force. Among the first projects, to be unveiled by the Narendra Modi-led government, was biometric-based attendance system for over 100,000 central government officials. Earlier last year, the direct benefits transfer in cooking gas was also restarted after a short hiatus.

The petroleum ministry has, so far, managed to cover two-thirds of the country’s 150 million consumers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) under the modified version of the Direct Benefits Transfer in LPG scheme, launched nationwide on January 1.

Under the scheme, the government has transferred Rs 4,299 crore since November 15 to consumers in 113.3 million transactions.

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First Published: Tue, February 10 2015. 00:47 IST
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