New-borns will soon receive a temporary Aadhaar number, to be upgraded with biometric data on attainment of majority, as the Unique Identification Authority of India prepares to launch two ambitious pilot programmes aimed at plugging misuse and deepening its reach. It will also integrate its data with death registration records to prevent misappropriation of government benefits by using Aadhaar numbers of deceased citizens.
The world’s largest biometric identity database, which has enrolled nearly all of India’s adult population since its launch in 2010, is now looking to expand the ambit of Aadhaar to cover a person’s entire life cycle from birth to death.
“The allocation of a UIDAI number at birth will ensure that children and families benefit from government programmes and no one is left out of the social security net,” said one official cited above. The integration of Aadhaar numbers with the country’s death registration databases as well as with that of public and private hospitals is aimed at stemming the leak of direct benefit transfers.
The pilot for these two programmes will begin soon. “Biometrics for kids are taken when they are at least five years old. Our teams can visit these newborns’ families after that period and complete the formalities of registering their biometric, and allocating them a permanent Aadhaar number,” said a senior official. Further, once a child turns 18, biometrics are re-registered “as these parameters stabilise by then and remain the same for an (individual’s) remaining natural life,” the person added while noting that “it will also ensure that multiple IDs are not generated for the same child.”