‘Aadhaar’ cards will henceforth bear date of birth of the holder, facilitating people to avail benefits of several government and non-governmental schemes which require age validation.

Till now, only year of birth was mentioned in the card, but now, it has been agreed in-principle to insert the date of birth, said city-based RTI activist Avinash Prabhune, who pursued the matter with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and its chief Nandan Nilekani.

Prabhune, who first drew attention of UIDAI in November 2012, received a communication from Assistant Director General of Planning Commission, Shirish Kumar on April 3 stating that henceforth, date of birth will be included in ‘Aadhaar’ cards.

The activist contended that UID authorities had said ’Aadhaar’ number will give people access to banking, mobile phone connections and other government and non-government services, in due course.

All assurances gave an impression that by using ‘Aadhaar’ (Unique Identity Card), one will not be required to carry any other identity card for availing service benefits from various service providers. Also, limitations of other cards issued earlier will be eliminated by the UID.

However, ‘Aadhaar’ cards were issued without date of birth, although documentary evidence in this regard was submitted at the time of enrolment, making it difficult for individuals to claim benefits where age proof is required to be submitted or established during physical transactions.

After integration with all systems, it may be possible that the data of UID and other service providers will be shared electronically but till that time, UID will not be useful for all such transactions, he contended.

Prabhune said many things like senior citizen concessions in Railways, bus, fulfilling KYC norms for various services like gas connections, bank and posts account opening, electoral enrolment, passport, demat and mutual fund account opening, driving licence from RTO, income tax transactions, mobile phone connections need age proof.

It may be true that a large percentage of Indians do not possess full date of birth, chances are only a year of birth is recorded within the Aadhar system. Therefore, it is acceptable for those to mention year of birth and subsequently update whenever valid data is received, he said.

As per available information, more than Rs 2,000 crore have been spent on the UID scheme and 23 crore citizens have been enrolled while 21 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated so far, Prabhune said.

(This article was published on April 9, 2013)
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