In a written reply, the minister of electronics and information technology (MeitY) says there is no such proposal before the government for making it mandatory to update Aadhaar every 10 years.
However, he says, "UIDAI, with a view to ensure continued accuracy of residents' information in the central identities data repository (CIDR), through its notification dated 9 November 2022, has provided that Aadhaar holders, upon completion of every ten years from the date of enrolment for Aadhaar, may update their supporting documents in Aadhaar at least once, by submitting documents to prove identity and address."
Members of Parliament (MPs) Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh, Dinesh Chandra Yadav and Santosh Kumar have asked a question about mandatory update of Aadhaar and whether it would cause problems for the public again.
"(Since there is no such proposal), question does not arise," the minister says.
As regularly reported by Moneylife
and also the comptroller and auditor general (CAG), there are several issues like faulty biometrics and unpaired documents in the UIDAI database. "There is lack of standardisation of data at UIDAI (in addition to the fact that it is not verified by UIDAI). The last-mile data-entry in India is so poor that it leads to glaring errors in the spelling of names across different certificates, mistakes in date of birth and other demographic details of people. Around 80% of the citizens have faced an issue with wrong spelling or mismatched information on at least one of their identity cards. These include name variation due to translation from regional language to English such as Ramwati, Ramvati or Ram Wati Devi or date of birth variation due to no availability of birth certificate (where a gap of 10 years is fairly common)." (Read: Why Do 80-90 Million Residents Need To Update Their Aadhaar Every Year?
Earlier this year, the CAG recommended that UIDAI should review its charges for a voluntary update of residents' biometrics since it was not in a position to identify reasons for biometric failures and residents were not at fault for the capture of poor quality of biometrics.
"During 2018-19, more than 73% of the total 3.04 crore biometric updates were voluntary updates done by residents for faulty biometrics after payment of charges. The huge volume of voluntary updates indicated that the quality of data captured to issue initial Aadhaar was not good enough to establish the uniqueness of identity," the report says.
Despite being aware of the fact that not all Aadhaar numbers were paired with the personal information of their holders, CAG says UIDAI has yet to identify the exact extent of a mismatch though nearly 10 years have elapsed since the issue of the first Aadhaar. "Non-pairing of biometric data in the system with demographic information was not in consonance with the instructions issued by UIDAI and non-availability of personally identifiable information (PII) documents with the Authority, for those already collected from the residents, impacts the reliability of the Aadhaar database." (Read: Aadhaar Database Continues To Have Faulty Biometrics, Unpaired Documents: CAG
A reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act reveals that there are almost 80mn (million) to 90mn 'successful' updates carried out by UIDAI every year. Or, that many people have had to correct their Aadhaar details to match other identity proofs. It also covers the frequent need to update addresses, by those who migrate to other cities for work—they include migrant labour, high-flying techies, and families of those in transferrable service like government, bank, and defence service employees. Since an Aadhaar is a mandatory requirement for many government services, even club memberships and is widely used as an address proof, people have no option but to keep updating their data.
In July 2022, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for MeitY had told the Lok Sabha that UIDAI had cancelled nearly 60K (thousand) Aadhaar for being duplicates as of 31 May 2022.
Sharing steps to provide adequate facilities for Aadhaar enrolment, updating and retrieval, Mr Chandrasekhar says, "UIDAI permits residents to update their demographic details such as name (minor change), date of birth, gender and address through the online myAadhaar portal. With regard to provisions available for retrieval of Aadhaar, residents can retrieve their lost EID or UID number by filling in the required details on UIDAI myAadhaar portal under the link: https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/retrieve-eid-uid. Residents can also retrieve their lost EID/UID by visiting the nearest Aadhaar enrolment centre or by calling UIDAI call centre 1947. For retrieving the EID or UID, residents are to provide their demographic details properly."