Aadhaar number to help deprived people get banking services

"Crores of Indians do not have bank accounts. Once they get the Aadhaar' number it would easily facilitate them to open a bank account and get banking services," Ram Sevak Sharma, director general and mission director, UIDAI, told reporters.

In the next four years, 60 crore  (600 million) Indians would get the Aadhaar card.
According to Sharma, the Aadhaar scheme, formally launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sep 29 last year, is now in progress in nine states - Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura.

UIDAI has empanelled several hundred enrolment agencies across the country.
"The Aadhaar number is an official confirmation of residency not the citizenship of any individual," Sharma said.

"The quality and speed of lots of government programmes and issue of official documents to people would be improved through this Aadhaar number," he said, adding that the problems in getting government facilities and services would also be reduced.

According to the official, the Aadhaar number would be stored in a centralised database and linked to the basic demographics and biometric information, including a person's  photographs, 10 fingerprints and iris.

"The Aadhaar number and all details of an individual will be easily verifiable in an online and cost-effective way," he added.

Tripura is the first state in the northeast and the eighth in India where the Aadhaar scheme was launched -- on Dec 2 last year.

"By March, the enrolment of all residents of Tripura would be completed. They would then get the Aadhaar number directly from UIDAI," said Tripura's rural development department commissioner Kumar Alok, the head of the joint working group of the scheme in the northeastern state.

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