The newly launched mobile-based authentication services would benefit only around 40% of Indian residents having Aadhaar numbers.
The Unique Identification Authority of India, which has a repository of as many as 350 million Aadhaar numbers, has mobile numbers of only about 40% of the Aadhaar holders.
Reason: The agency did not seek mobile numbers of enrollers in the first phase, during which over 200 million had got registered.
It means a small fraction of people with unique identification would be able to opt for cheaper method of online authentication via mobile phones.
The agency of Friday had launched its online authentication for service providers such as banks and cooking gas but the mobile-linked service was most cost-effective because it does not require installation of any additional equipment.
The other biometric registration based authentication will require service providers to buy finger print or iris recording machines.
Then the UIDAI officials would make you believe that one can avail of the service by updating its mobile number through public portal of UIDAI.
That is not the case. Mobile numbers cannot be updated as the entire service is based on one time password sent to a person’s mobile registered at the time of enrollment.
“One can send the mobile details with Aadhaar number to our offices or can visit our nearest Aadhaar enrollment centre,” said Vijav S Madan, the authority’s director general.
That is an option but the Unique Identification Authority of India cannot assure in how much time the records would be updated.
In a normal course an Aadhaar number should be generated in 90 days, an official working with the Unique Identification Authority of India said, but that has been an exception than a rule.
Nandan Nilekani, who heads the body, agrees that there should be a service delivery promise but cites constrains.
“Considering the magnitude and scale of the project there can be delays some time. We generate a million Aadhaars every day and lots of effort goes into it,” he said.