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UIDAI cancels 3.84 lakh fake Aadhaar numbers

Some have managed to beat the so-called unbeatable Unique Identification (UID) system and got fake Aadhaar numbers generated raising security concerns over UPA's new UID based governance model, reports Chetan Chauhan.
By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 26, 2012 02:26 AM IST

Some have managed to beat the so-called unbeatable Unique Identification (UID) system and got fake Aadhaar numbers generated raising security concerns over UPA's new UID based governance model.



Nandan Nilekani led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has cancelled 3.84 lakh Aadhaar numbers of the total 4.10 lakh generated under the biometric exception clause.

The Aadhaar agencies are allowed to enroll people without proper finger-prints or iris under the biometric exception clause.

In this, the agencies are required to provide photographs of the non-existent biometrics along with demographic details of the enrollers.

The biometric exception was incorporated to make Aadhaar truly inclusive identification generation process as there was highly level of exclusion in other systems such as ration cards.

But, the agencies exploited the clause to make some pass money as for each successful enrollment and generation of Aadhaar number, the agency got Rs 50.

It was business as usual for UIDAI till a large number of Aadhaar letters in Andhra Pradesh remained undelivered.

"Most of the 45,000 undelivered Aadhaar letters in Andhra were under the exception clause. It hinted that something was wrong," a senior UIDAI official said. Further scrutiny revealed that of 48.80 lakh Aadhaar generated in Andhra, 2.30 lakh were false and were subsequently cancelled.

With the lid blown off, similar instance cropped in other states.

A Delhi government official said, who reported around 13,000 fraudulent enrollments to UIDAI, said the biometric exception was introduced for people with high level of disabilities but it was frequently used raising a question over credibility of Aadhaar numbers.

The UIDAI admitted of similar high number of fake Aadhaar numbers from Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh in a reply to Lok Sabha.

The authority also found of the total Aadhaar generated under this clause, only 22,195 were found to be genuine. Another 6,600 Aadhaar numbers are under investigation.

For enrollment of around 90 crore residents in subsequent phases, the UIDAI has asked agencies not to opt for biometric exception without approval from a senior, preferably a government official.

The UPA government has decided to use Aadhaar payment platform for delivery of its welfare schemes once the enrollment is complete likely by April 2014.

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