UIDAI CRACKS DOWN ON 1000 OP­ER­A­TORS IN 3 MONTHS

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The UIDAI has black­listed or sus­pended around 1,000 op­er­a­tors while FIRs have been filed against 20 in­di­vid­u­als in the last three months for mal­prac­tices such as charg­ing for Aad­haar en­rol­ment. The Unique Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Author­ity of In­dia (UIDAI) has also slapped a penalty of Rs 10,000 each on these erring op­er­a­tors be­sides re­mov­ing them from its sys­tem. "We have re­ceived cer­tain com­plaints... we have a zero tol­er­ance pol­icy on over­charg­ing. We have iden­ti­fied about 1,000 such op­er­a­tors since De­cem­ber 2016... in the last three months, these op­er­a­tors have been re­moved from our sys­tem and we are also im­pos­ing a penalty of Rs 10,000 each on them," UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said. Re­moval of these op­er­a­tors from the sys­tem im­plies they would not be able to con­duct en­rol­ment for Aad­haar from any­where in the coun­try. UIDAI is the nodal body re­spon­si­ble for rolling out Aad­haar, the 12-digit unique iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber that iden­ti­fies res­i­dents based on bio­met­rics. The author­ity swung into ac­tion af­ter it re­ceived cer­tain com­plaints about some of these op­er­a­tors charg­ing money for en­rol­ments -- a ser­vice that is free of charge. Some other in­stances re­late to over­charg­ing for up­da­tion of Aad­haar de­tails, for which UIDAI has pre­scribed a rate of Rs 25, while some per­tained to op­er­a­tors de­part­ing from the set pro­ce­dures. "We got cer­tain com­plaints where peo­ple were be­ing in­con­ve­nienced and some­times they were be­ing asked for money... So we have ap­pealed that they (op­er­a­tors) should stick to the pre­scribed rates," he said. In more se­vere cases, FIRs have been filed. "We have filed FIRs against 20 per­sons," Pandey said, hop­ing that the ac­tion by the UIDAI would be a de­ter­rent for oth­ers try­ing to over­charge or not fol­low­ing proper pro­cesses. The sus­pen­sion pe­riod varies from 6 months to 10 years de­pend­ing on the sever­ity of the of­fence, he added. So far, he pointed out, ac­tion has been taken against 34,000 op­er­a­tors since the be­gin­ning of the Aad­haar pro­gram. The Aad­haar ecosys­tem has four lakh cer­ti­fied op­er­a­tors and at any point of time about 40,000 such peo­ple en­rol res­i­dents across the coun­try. As per the lat­est up­date, more than 113 crore Aad­haar IDs have been gen­er­ated in the coun­try and Aad­haar au­then­ti­ca­tions have crossed the 500 crore mark, while 100 crore e-KYCs have been done on the plat­form. Also, to avoid a re­peat of Dhoni-like episodes, the UIDAI has in­structed the staff of its en­rol­ment agen­cies to re­sist the urge of pos­ing for self­ies with

celebri­ties or re­tain­ing their Aad­haar de­tails. It also em­pha­sised that per­sonal pref­er­ences should be kept sep­a­rate from of­fi­cial du­ties. The in­struc­tion fol­lows the pub­lic shar­ing of Aad­haar de­tails of ace crick­eter M S Dhoni af­ter some photos were tweeted by the CSC E-Gov­er­nance han­dle, in­clud­ing one cap­tur­ing his per­sonal de­tails in the form of his Aad­haar ac­knowl­edge­ment slip. Swing­ing into ac­tion, the UIDAI has reached out to its re­gional of­fices to, in turn, sen­si­tise en­rol­ment agen­cies to "strictly" ad­here to the rules of en­rol­ment, even as the erring op­er­a­tor has been black­listed. "We are sen­si­tis­ing all our op­er­a­tors and agen­cies to strictly fol­low the norms while en­rolling such in­di­vid­u­als... and not to mix en­rol­ment op­er­a­tion with per­sonal likes and dis­likes... or get into the per­sonal do­main like click­ing a selfie," Pandey said. Pandey's ad­vice to the en­rol­ment agen­cies: "Please don't be en­thu­si­as­tic... this is an of­fi­cial busi­ness, so limit the ac­tiv­ity to of­fi­cial busi­ness and if they want to do that (click photos)... they can meet the celebrity af­ter of­fice hours." UIDAI has black­listed the Vil­lage Level Entrepreneur who had en­rolled Dhoni for leak­ing Aad­haar re­ceipt which car­ried his per­sonal in­for­ma­tion. UIDAI is the nodal body re­spon­si­ble for rolling out Aad­haar, the 12-digit unique iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber that iden­ti­fies res­i­dents based on bio­met­rics. Pandey con­ceded that in the par­tic­u­lar in­ci­dent, the op­er­a­tor "in his en­thu­si­asm" got his photo clicked with Dhoni and also took a pic­ture of the ac­knowl­edge­ment slip. "First, tak­ing the pic­ture should not have been al­lowed. This is a con­trolled process and tak­ing selfie should not have hap­pened, and Mr Dhoni also should not have al­lowed it be­cause it is a govern­ment process. Of course, we have taken ac­tion against the op­er­a­tor, that the op­er­a­tor should not have done this," he said. Pandey said he would also ad­vise in­di­vid­u­als en­rolling for Aad­haar to de­cline such re­quests. "We will also re­quest peo­ple who are get­ting en­rolled that this is a se­ri­ous of­fi­cial visit. At least, dur­ing the process, please strictly con­form to the norms and if some­one re­quests for a copy of the re­ceipt or op­er­a­tor re­quests for selfie, they should deny it," he said. As per the lat­est up­date, more than 113 crore Aad­haar IDs have been gen­er­ated in the coun­try and Aad­haar au­then­ti­ca­tions have crossed the 500 crore mark, while 100 crore e-KYCs have been done on the plat­form.

UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey

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