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UIDAI Update: Aadhaar Number Mandatory to Avail Government Subsidies & Benefits

According to the new circular, until an Aadhaar number is issued, a person can submit an application for enrollment and avail advantages of subsidies, and services using alternative and viable forms of identification.

Shruti Kandwal
UIDAI notified the move in a circular that was published on August 11.
UIDAI notified the move in a circular that was published on August 11.

According to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in order to receive government benefits and subsidies, an Aadhaar number or enrolment slip is now mandatory.

UIDAI notified the move in a circular that was published on August 11.

More than 99% of the adult population in the country now has an Aadhaar number to their name, according to the circular distributed to all central ministries and state governments. “A person who does not have an Aadhaar number must be offered alternate and viable forms of identification for delivery of the subsidy, benefit, or service," as per section 7 of the Aadhaar Act.

According to the new circular, until an Aadhaar number is issued, a person can submit an application for enrollment and avail advantages of subsidies, and services using alternative and viable forms of identification.

The circular emphasizes how the implementation of Aadhaar has affected the way that services are provided to individuals and claims that it has enhanced their benefit-availing experience.

The UIDAI had already made the virtual identifier (VID) service available to residents as well. It is a temporary, revocable 16-digit number generated at random that is linked to the Aadhaar number. It can be used in place of an Aadhaar number for e-KYC services or authentication. Additionally, entities were requested to guarantee the availability of VID-based authentication.

However, the latest UIDAI circular specifies that authentication using VID may be made by government entities.

"Some government entities might need the Aadhaar number in their respective databases to ensure that social welfare programs are implemented smoothly. As a result, such government entities may demand Aadhaar numbers from beneficiaries while making VID optional,” according to the UIDAI's circular.

Moreover, UIDAI also mentioned that Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment number may also be required for the issuance of various certifications used to access benefits and services.

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