As many as seven states have more Aadhaar holders than the population of the states, reveals a reply given by the Indian government. This is not only shocking, but also highlight serious issues on the entire data collection and allocation of Aadhaar numbers by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). What if total number of Aadhaar holders exceed the population of the entire country even after accounting for deaths?
Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Sanjay Dhotre, minister of state for electronics and information technology, says, "Seven states have Aadhaar more than the projected population as on 31 December 2019. Estimated number of deaths of Aadhaar holders has been accounted in Aadhaar saturation. These could be attributed to error in projection of population, and migration of population."
The minister did not share names of the states where there are more Aadhaar than population.
The question was asked by Jose K Mani, member of Parliament (MP). He also asked if the government has any plans to flag Aadhaar numbers of deceased if appropriate documents are submitted.
Mr Dhotre replied that there was no plan to flat deceased Aadhaar holders.
However, as repeatedly pointed out by Dr Anupam Saraph, a renowned expert in governance of complex systems, there is no process for objecting to assigning an Aadhaar number to any combination of biometric or demographic data in the Aadhaar database. In the absence of such a process to clean the database, no verification or audit of the Aadhaar database has happened either, he says.
"Almost all Aadhaar numbers are supposed to have been issued on the basis of other primary documents of proof of identity and proof of address. The UIDAI however, has no information about the primary ID used, making it impossible to allow the verification of the uniqueness and validity Aadhaar number by anyone who uses it," he wrote in an article. (Read: Benami Voters and Laundering Elections with Aadhaar)
Dr Saraph, a renowned expert in governance of complex systems, says, despite knowing the huge duplicates and ghosts that they enrolled into the Aadhaar database the UIDAI has never verified the Aadhaar data or audited their database and processes to generate the database.
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