R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, April 12 - The formal process of issuing Aadhar cards in Assam will start only after the completion of updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), while, the process is making good progress in the other states of the region barring Meghalaya.
Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that a small portion of the people of Assam received Aadhar cards after a pilot project was launched in three districts. But the pilot project has also been suspended.
Sources said that in 2012, the Government of India decided that in a few sensitive states, the enrolment for issuing Aadhar cards would be done by the Registrar General of India and forward it to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for generating the Aadhar number and issuing cards, while, in the other states, the UIDAI was authorized to do both the enrolment and issuing cards. However, as the process became slow, the Government decided to entrust the UIDAI to carry out both the jobs.
Sources revealed that the process is yet to start formally in Assam as the State Government is of the view that it should start only after the completion of the NRC updating process. A pilot project was started in the districts of Nagaon, Sonitpur and Golaghat but later that too has been suspended. However, Aadhar cards have been issued to the Government employees posted in the State Secretariat, while, some senior officers of the Government also got the cards. The Central Government employees posted in the State also received the Aadhar cards. According to records available, around 6.6 per cent of the total population of the State based on projected population figure of 2015 now have Aadhar cards.
The process is also slow in Meghalaya and up to the end of March this year, only around nine per cent of the projected population of 2015 of the state received Aadhar cards. Sources said that the process in Meghalaya slowed down because a strong students’ body of the state objected to issuing Aadhar cards. The actual process in the state began only recently after the students’ body agreed to allow issuing cards.
But the progress is satisfactory in other states of the region. According to records available, the progress is the highest in Tripura among the North East states. According to records available, 94.4 per cent of the total population of the state received Aadhar cards up to the end of March this year. This is followed closely by Sikkim where 92.6 per cent of the population received cards. Around 68.8 per cent of population of Manipur received Aadhar cards, 65.3 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, 55.5 per cent in Nagaland and 62.3 per cent of the population received cards in Mizoram.
It may be mentioned here that the Central Government has made Aadhar cards mandatory for banks accounts, LPG connections etc. However, Assam is exempted as Aadhar cards are yet to be issued to common people of the State.