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The goof ups in the Aadhaar project continues: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has apparently issued around 3,858 Aadhaar letters with photos of trees, animals or buildings in place of the photos of individuals, reports Hindustan Times.

The report states that UIDAI has detected around 19,493 total mismatch cases till now, which includes 14,817 cases of the Aadhar letter bearing the photo of wrong individuals, 653 letters with photo mismatch on slips and 165 acknowledgement slips with photos of non-humans. UIDAI has reportedly attributed the error in the photos to a wrong algorithm used by the printing software to select the photos.

Verification System Still Not in Place? Its worth noting that this is not the first such goof up by UIDAI. In April 2012, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had apparently issued an an Aadhaar card to a fictitious Mr Kothimeer (coriander) with a photo of a mobile phone. In May 2012, the Indian Postal Department had apparently sent back around 50,000 Aadhaar cards issued in Hyderabad to The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), citing non-existing addresses. In January 2013, UIDAI had reportedly issued thousands of Aadhaar cards for the second timefor the same people, as indicated by a Deccan Chronicle report.

These instances makes you wonder on what kind of processes the UIDAI has put into place, especially considering that the program hopes to be a single unique identity system for Indian citizens in the future.

Services that Mandate Aadhar: Government organisations like Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation are mandating Aadhar for employees to receive their salary and several employees did not receive their salary for the month of December 2012, due to lack of UID card. Mismatch and fake information on the Aadhar letter makes it inconvenient for citizens especially with such mandates.

The revenue department has also made Aadhar mandatory to avail its services and the government is apparently considering linking the Aadhar card to ration cards and making it mandatory to issue passports as well.

Other Aadhaar developments

In December 2012, five Indian banks had launched an instant prepaid card service called the Saral money service, that allows users to open a bank account using their Aadhar card for know your customer (KYC) validation. UIDAI has partnered with 15 more banks to use Aadhar as KYC validation.

In November 2012, Indian Government had announced plans to roll out an Aadhaar based Direct Cash Transfer initiative from January 1, 2013. Following this, all government departments who were transferring cash to individual beneficiaries, will transition to this electronic transfer system based on Aadhaar Payment Platform. This includes all subsidy transfers like education loans, scholarships, MNREGA payments, old age pension, PDS subsidies, LPG subsidies, Indira Awaas Yojna subsidies and fertilizer subsidies.

In October 2012, the government had launched Aadhar enabled service delivery platform for citizens to access services of various government schemes such as MNREGA(Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) wage payments, payment of social security benefits such as old-age payments, distribution of LPG cylinders, among others. In the same month, Vodafone had launched a pilot project in Hyderabad where it was using Aadhar to verify and activate new prepaid and post paid connections.

Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of UIDAI, had also launched Aadhar E-KYC powered instant prepaid accounts at MediaNama’s #NAMA conference in October 2012.

Related:

#NAMA Video: Nandan Nilekani On Integrating The UID With The Digital Industry
– The Lowdown: India’s Unique ID Project Unraveled By Standing Committee
– Aadhaar & The Developer Ecosystem: Free API Calls Initially; Transliteration
– Aadhaar: Enrollment, Authentication & Beyond