Jury is till out on the success of ambitious and controversial UIDAI program headed by Nandan Nilekani. However, if numbers released by Government are to be believed, it sure shows that Indian citizens are lapping it in big numbers.
We looked at total Aadhaar enrollment numbers in the month of May this year – At that time a total of 343 million Aadhar cards were issued. And now as per latest update, the total number of Aadhaar card issuance has reached 510 million.
What it means is nearly 167 million Aadhaar cards have been issues in 6 months, an impressive feat by any yardstick!
According to official press release, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is now generating about 1.1 million Aadhaar cards every day. Keeping that rate in mind, the target of 600 million Aadhaar cards set by Government should be reached in less than 3 months time.
The first Aadhaar card was issued on 29 September 2010. UIDAI issued 80 million Aadhaar numbers in the period up to November 2011, another 150 million were issued in the next one year until November 2012. In last one year alone, more 280 million Aadhaar numbers have been issued.
Over 11 states and UTs have Aadhaar saturation levels of over 75 percent, with many states like Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Tripura and Chandigarh having saturation levels over 90 percent.
And there is a reason why Aadhaar numbers are growing so drastically – Many regulatory authorities like RBI, IRDA, SEBI and others have now included Aadhaar as a valid KYC (Know your customer) document. In many states subsidies for LPG is given through Aadhaar numbers.
And very recently, RBI has now come up with a mandate that Aadhaar biometric authentication will be used in all debit and credit card transactions at point of sale. In addition to this, six banks including SBI have newly introduced Aadhaar-to-Aadhaar mobile based payments.
So, while many people still doubt the usage and efficacy of Aadhaar numbers, with so many services now depending on it, there is no doubt that Aadhaar is slowly becoming a major success!
What is your take?