NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding lingering security concerns expressed by intelligence agencies, the Home Ministry has said that Aadhaar will be a “single source of identity verification” and it can be used at multiple places to prove a person’s identity easily.
Intelligence agencies had earlier red-flagged the use of Aadhaar as a valid document while processing KYC in banks. Sources said the concerns were conveyed in a meeting at North Block earlier in October. “Intelligence agencies said that Aadhaar should not be accepted as address proof. It is just an identity card. Additional proof of residence is required for processing KYC. After this objection, the Home Ministry sought response from UIDAI. The whole exercise was aimed at resolving the issue,” said sources. But in a letter dated September 27 to all State home secretaries and Director General of Prisons, the Home Ministry said, “Aadhaar and the National Population Register (NPR) are national identity programmes of the government of India. The former is being implemented by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the latter by the Registrar General of India.”
The letter said both collect biometric data including 10 finger prints, iris scan of both eyes and a photo and the identity and address of the resident are also ascertained during the enrolment process. “Aadhaar provides a unique identity number to every resident. The NPR database is sent to the UIDAI for Aadhaar de-duplication and generating Unique Identity (UID) numbers,” the letter pointed out.
In the letter, Joint Secretary S Suresh Kumar said one Aadhaar number is allotted to only one person and it enables the authorities to verify his/her identity universally. “The Aadhaar card enables the deprived and needy people to access services like banking facilities. Since Aadhaar is based on demographic and biometric information of an individual, it eliminates the threat of fraud and bogus activity,” the letter said. It also said that Aadhaar will provide its possessor with universal identification. “(It) will facilitate ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ authentication to its beneficiaries (and) be a single source of identity verification,” the letter said.