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Aadhaar numbers to be delivered electronically to clear backlog

The government on Wednesday said there is some backlog in delivering 'Aadhaar' unique identity cards and steps have been taken, including sending them to people electronically, to tide over the problem.

"In addition to the traditional method of printing and deliver, it has been decided to communicate Aadhaar numbers electronically," Minister of State for Planning Ashwani Kumar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

As of November 29, 7.95 crore 'Aadhaar' numbers have been generated by the Unique identification Authority of India.

For printing and delivering Aadhaar numbers to residents, UIDAI has an agreement with the Department of Posts.

"However, the pace of printing could not keep up with the increasing enrolments and the Department of Posts was requested to ramp up its printing capacity which was done but still it was not able to match the increasing generation of Aadhaar numbers," Kumar said.

He said that efforts are on to ensure that there are no delays in printing and delivery of letters, giving the Aadhaar cards, to residents.

The minister said that an entity -- Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd -- has been selected for printing Aadhaar letters to overcome the backlog.

"Further, an open tender has been floated on November 23, 2011, for enhancing printing capacity so as to ensure that there is no delay in printing of Aadhaar letters," Kumar said.

UIDAI is entrusted with the task of generating the Aadhaar unique identity cards and so far it has enrolled over 12 crore citizens under the scheme.

Under the first phase of the project, UIDAI is to enrol 20 crore citizens by March 2012. The project aims to provide about 60 crore unique identification numbers by 2014.

The scheme was launched in September, 2010 and is intended to improve implementation of social sector schemes of the government.

Aadhaar identity cards are accepted as valid documents under the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for opening bank accounts, securing mobile connections and cooking gas connections.

The Aadhaar cards will also be used to plug leakages in the government's poverty alleviation programme.

The Task Force on Direct Subsidies, headed by UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani, has been mandated to prepare a payment system for the scheme.

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