Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Braving all for an identity ! U I D

Dear Comrades,

The Unique Identification (UID), the flagship project of the government has already kickstarted in Bangalore.

Post Offices in the City, in association with the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), are issuing applications to people to get this biometric-enabled twelve digit number called Aadhar. But the procedure seems to be fraught with problems. Metrolife spoke to the authorities and the people to find out their reactions. Enrolment for this service is currently being carried on in head offices at HAL 2nd Stage, RT Nagar, Rajajinagar, Vijayanagar, Mahalakshmipuram, Basavanagudi, Jayanagar and Wilson Garden.

However, the ratio isn’t balanced, given the huge number of people seeking the UID in the City. Says Ravi, an engineer, “It is not properly pla­nned. The authorities should have kept multiple centres as eight are not sufficient for all.”

Prasad, a software professional, agrees, “In order to get it, one has to spend nearly three hours everyday. After this, one has to make repeated trips back to get their photograph taken and finger prints and eyes scanned. One post office will not be able to accommodate all of this.” Another major issue faced by the people is that the forms downloaded online are no longer accepted. Says Pra­kash, postal assistant at the HAL 2nd Stage head office, “We accept only photocopies of original forms which are available at the post offices for free.”

However, this makes it difficult as forms are issued only from 9 am to 9.30 am. Prasad says, “This is the third time I have come here as enough forms weren’t available. At one time, they even told me that photocopies are not valid. But when I checked with the Postmaster General, he told me there was no problem in doing so.”

The applicants have to submit different documents for proof of identity, address, relationship and date of birth. But there is no consensus among different officials about the submission of the various documents.  Says K V Annaji Rao, a retired professional, “I faced this problem as my wife was asked to get her SSLC marks card. But then they made a huge cry about the fact that the surname has changed now and we had to run from pillar to post to get the validation done.

There seems to be no scientific method in place which is very harassing.” Says Prakash, “Everyday we get almost 200 applications, out of which enrolment will be done only for fifty. We have to verify each application and the documents with the originals. What happens often is that the people do not get the required documents which poses a lot of problem. We request the people to read the instructions carefully before submitting the forms.”

There are many who have waited for hours in vain as they couldn’t get enrolled. But Ashok Dalwai, Deputy Director-General, UIDAI regional office says, “This project has started only a few days back and is going to be there for a long time. So whoever has not been able to enrol needn’t feel disheartened as they will surely get a chance.”

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