Prime Minister wants Aadhaar cards issued to newborns

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Prime Minister wants Aadhaar cards issued to newborns

In a fresh boost to the Aadhaar programme, the government has announced that it will soon start issuing Aadhaar to newborns. The move is part of the Modi government’s efforts to provide the unique identification number to all residents by March 2017.

According to sources, plans are afoot to click infants in the hospital cradle itself and link their pictures to the details of their parents for generating Aadhaar numbers.

As the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) crossed the 100crore-mark in April, PM Modi directed UIDAI to expedite Aadhaar enrolments and cover the remaining 28 crore residents. The Authority has gone into “campaign mode” with an aim to give “almost every resident” an Aadhaar number by March next year, the source added.

The focus is on enrolling those aged 0-5 years, since only a quarter of the residents in this group have Aadhaar cards, compared to 96 per cent among adults. “We are now closely working with the RGI and various birth registration agencies, saying that at time of birth in the hospital itself, we can give Aadhaar by integrating it with the birth registration system,” a UIDAI official said. “Haryana has done it. We are approaching other states to do that.”

Under the Haryana model, the Health Department in the state functions as a registrar for Aadhaar enrolment, with the department personnel becoming certified Aadhaar operators for enrolling newborn babies at the birthplace in hospitals. UIDAI also plans to certify staff in private nursing homes and accredited social health activists or Asha workers for enrolling the infants born elsewhere or at home.

States may plan to deliver services like immunisation, health benefits and education to the infants before they turn five on the basis of the Aadhaar number. Once they turn five, UIDAI will capture biometrics like fingerprint and iris scan.

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