Amid polarised debate on National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) in the country, the growth in the Aadhaar registration and use have significantly increased in last one year. According to recent report from Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), as many as 125 crores residents in India have now Aadhaar number.
This growth has been witnessed despite the last year judgement of Supreme Court that put some curb on the use of Aadhaar, especially by the private companies such as telecom operators, banks and e-commerce platforms for eKYC.
Sharing the latest data, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said that Aadhaar-based authentication services have been used close to 37,000 crore times since inception. At present UIDAI receives about 3 crore authentication requests every day.
UIDAI recorded close to 331 crore successful Aadhaar updates (biometric and demographic) till date. At present UIDAI receives about 3-4 lakh Aadhaar updates request every day.
In September, last year, five-judge constitution bench of the SC upheld most of the provisions in the Aadhaar Act but struck down several provisions that could have infringed privacy or gave unnecessary exposure to personal information including Section 57 of the Aadhar Act that provided that private companies could ask consumers for Aadhaar details for identification purposes.
Currently, Aadhaar is mandatory for filing of income tax returns (ITR) and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN). Students of CBSE, NEET, UGC do not require Aadhaar number to appear in exams. Even schools cannot seek Aadhaar card for admissions.
There is also exception for children as no child can be denied benefits of any scheme if he or she doesn’t have Aadhaar card.
Initially envisaged in line with US social security number, Aadhaar biometric identification system has created a slew of problems since it was set up in 2009 and faced several litigations.