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UIDAI plans Aadhaar Seva Kendras in 53 cities; project cost seen at Rs 300-400 cr

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The UIDAI plans to set up Seva Kendras, similar to the concept of Passport Seva Kendras, in a mega project that involves opening of facilitation centres for and update services in 53 cities across India, official sources said.

The proposed centres will be UIDAI's own - under the authority's supervision - and will operate in addition to nearly 30,000 centres, currently being run by banks and post offices, and in premises (offering similar services), they said.

The cost of the entire project is being estimated in the 300-400 crore, they noted.

UIDAI officials, who did not wish to be named, told that the centres are aimed at offering convenience to individuals, looking to avail Aadhaar and update services. These centres are being conceptualised as grander versions of existing or post office run units - each bustling centre will have eight or 16 stations depending on population of that city to deal with service requests and queries.

Interestingly, the move comes just weeks after a recent order placed curbs on use of Aadhaar, but allowed it for welfare schemes. The UIDAI, however, has clarified that service providers can still use like eAadhaar and QR (Quick Response) code that leverage Aadhaar without authentication, any access to biometrics, or revealing the 12-digit number.

The UIDAI believes that this would mean that individuals will continue to need services such as and updation, if they want to use Aadhaar-based offline modes.

As per some estimates close to 4 lakh people update their Aadhaar details (address, photo, mobile number amongst others) every day, while enrolments are pegged at about one lakh daily. Over 122 crore Aadhaar have been issued, so far.

The Aadhaar-issuing body is now seeking proposals for engaging service providers to open and run the Aadhaar Seva Kendras and extend appointment-based enrolment, update and other to people. These new centres will be run on the model of Passport Seva Kendras.

The list of cities where these centres will come up include Agra, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Dehradun, Goa, Guwahati, Hubli, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, and amongst others. Besides this, each of the four metro cities -- Delhi, Mumbai, and -- will have four such centres, and other cities two centres each.

In all, Aadhaar Seva Kendra will come up in 53 cities and will be operational by April 2019.

Last month, the upheld the constitutional validity of 'Aadhaar' but limited the scope of the controversial biometric identity project, ruling that it is not mandatory for accounts, mobile connections or school admissions.

Holding there was nothing in the Aadhaar Act that violates right to privacy of an individual, the five-judge constitution bench, in a 4 to 1 verdict, cleared the use of Aadhaar for welfare schemes.

The court held 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.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 20:55 IST