Aadhaar project is well on its way to completion. Nearly 730 enrollments have happened and 650 million aadhaar numbers have been generated as of 28th July,2014. Nearly 45 million enrollment packets were rejected as duplicates. The project has crossed several hurdles till now and faced the litmus test several times.
The first and foremost is that the new NDA government has chosen to complete the enrollments into aadhaar. They have sanctioned nearly 2000 crore for enrollments of nearly 10 crore more people in this fiscal year 2014-15. This is higher than what the UPA provided in its last year in office. There was an important meeting of the prime minister, finance minster and various cabinet secretaries where all issues regarding aadhaar were discussed. The finance minster Mr. Arun Jaitley has been told to sort out the legal issues surrounding making aadhaar mandatory. Also it has been decided that the NIAI(National Identification Authority of India) bill pending since 2010 will be passed as soon as possible.
The turnaround in the NDA stance on aadhaar came after a crucial meeting of prime minster with Mr. Nandan Nilekani(Ex-Chairman,UIDAI) on July 1st where he gave a presentation on aadhaar. The new government appears to be in no hurry to foist a half baked solution on the people. So aadhaar enrollments continue but its linkage to DBTL or PDS is kept in abeyance. The aadhaar would purportedly be used to only eliminate duplicate and ghost identities in beneficiary lists. Its use as a bridge in sending benefits to bank accounts may need other pillars like financial inclusion in place which may take some more time. This cautious approach is not only wise, this is brilliant and pragmatic.
After having travelled so far the aadhaar project is now getting rolled out in hard to enroll places like eastern UP, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. It has faced maoist threats. Lawlessness pervades in these areas where mafia rules. It would be difficult for the enrollment agencies to enroll people at the same cost that they did in safer areas of the country. Enrollments are at 10-12 million levels per month as of july,2014. They are expected to accelerate to normal rate of 30 million per month. Several state governments such as AP, Karnataka and Maharashtra have decided to use aadhaar to eliminate bogus ration cards.
Out of respect for some aadhaar related blogs and sites I am giving a link to them.