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Rajasthan govt backtracks, clarifies Aadhaar is not mandatory for COVID-testing

In a U-turn, the Rajasthan government clarified on Monday that Aadhaar details are not mandatory for COVID-19 testing in the state, after initially making it mandatory in an earlier guideline. On July 25, the state’s administration had made it mandatory to add a person’s Aadhaar details in a mobile app, while their sample was being collected. The government’s clarification came in response to a letter sent to it by Delhi-based rights group SFLC.in, which had demanded that Aadhaar not be made mandatory for COVID-19 testing in the state. “A lab technician, while collecting a person’s sample should mandatorily add desired details into the RT-PCR [real-time polymerase chain reaction] app. All lab technicians are hereby directed that Aadhaar card details of people whose sample is being collected is also to be mandatorily added to the RT-PCR app,” the July 25 guideline had said. It is not clear whether the state will release fresh guidelines as per its clarification. While the government at the time had acknowledged that some people — “like small children” — might not have an Aadhaar, we had pointed out that it wasn’t clear what would happen if no one in a family had an Aadhaar card. “If the person undergoing testing does not have an Aadhaar card (like small children), then one has to submit the Aadhaar Card number of older family members,” said the guidelines. In its letter to the Rajasthan administration, dated July 30, SFLC.in had said that mandating Aadhaar for COVID-testing goes against the…

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