The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will enroll an additional 40 crore residents for Aadhaar cards by March, 2014, minister of state for planning Ashwani Kumar said on Thursday.
"UIDAI was earlier mandated to enroll 20 crore residents which has been completed and enrolment of additional 40 crore residents mandated to be completed by March 2014, has commenced," the Kumar said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Aadhaar card issued by UIDAI provides a soft identity infrastructure which can be used for better and efficient delivery of public services, he said, adding that enrolment for Aadhaar is voluntary not mandatory.
A resident of India can obtain Aadhaar card by providing demographic and biometric information.
Aadhaar card is recognised as a proof of identity (PoI) and proof of address (PoA) for opening bank account, obtaining mobile phone and LPG connections, rail travel, grant of financial assistance to patients below poverty line suffering from major life threatening diseases.
Besides some state and central government ministries and departments also recognise Aadhaar as PoI and PoA for various resident centric schemes.
"The state and central government ministries have been advised to review the various schemes for service delivery and utilise and leverage Aadhaar as platform for service delivery," Kumar said.
He said the ministry of road transport and highways has issued necessary instructions for recognition of Aadhaar as PoI and PoA for obtaining a driving licence and registration of vehicles.