Anurag Singh Thakur, the head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, has asked Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, to restart Aadhaar services across Common Services Centre (CSCs), reports The Economic Times. There are over 3 lakh CSCs and their discontinuation has caused inconvenience to villagers, Thakur said.

Village Level Entrepreneurs help facilitate the operations in CSCs. Thakur argued that the discontinuation of services was causing them significant financial stress as they had invested in equipment and manpower to carry out Aadhaar work.

Note that CSCs have enrolled over 19 crore, or 16%, of the total 120.26 crore Aadhaar cards generated so far.

CSCs had received a commission of over Rs 122 crore until May 2016. But, in a letter dated February 6, 2018, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology informed Dinesh Tyagi, CEO of CSC e-Governance Services, about the government’s decision to not renew the MoU with CSC.

It cited corruption complaints and violation of the Aadhaar enrolment process as the reason to not renew the MoU. The letter can be read here. 

In its letter, the Ministry said:

“In view of the enormous number of complaints of corruption and enrolment process violations against Aadhaar enrolment/ update centers under CSC e-Gov, it may not be possible to extend/renew the MoU with CSC.”

CSC was advised to exit from the UIDAI system in a phased manner. The ministry said:

“CSC is therefore, requested to process its exit from the UIDAI system as per extant procedure and guidelines and close Aadhaar enrolment/ update centers working under it in phased manner without causing inconvenience to the general public.”

Efforts to bring CSC back in the Aadhaar ecosystem

In November 2018, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government will look into CSCs’ appeal to allow them to carry out Aadhaar enrolment and updation services. Prasad assured the VLEs that efforts were made to strengthen their engagement in the process of reaching the masses through the use of Aadhaar.

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