IT Czar Nandan Nilekani’s dream project of providing Aadhaar Cards to citizens has come under the Intelligence Bureau (IB) scanner following several complaints that unique identity numbers have been shockingly issued in the name of fruits and vegetables like ‘Apple’ and ‘Coriander’. For example, complaints received by the ministry states that a unique card with 12 digit number 499118665246 has been issued to ‘dhaniya’ (coriander) in Anantpur district, Andhra Pradesh. Another has been issued in the name of ‘Seb’ (apple.) The intelligence agency has so far received reports on around 12 such complaints.
The IB has asked all its subsidiary units in the state to launch a security audit of ‘Aadhaar’ issued to people, nailing the Nilekani-headed Unique Identification Authority of India’s claim of having foolproof process for vetting individual profile.
“The letter was sent to the state unit after the Ministry of Home Affairs received several complaints of misappropriation in the entire process. The IB message sent on June 29, 2012 directs the sleuths to figure out the extent of misappropriation of cards by NGOs and private companies involved in the identification process,” ministry sources said.
Sources said despite a letter to UIDAI and subsequent reminder from home ministry in May and June this year, the authority has been silent on the issue, prompting the agency to launch an investigation.
“There are also issues regarding fake cards which will create problems for resident identity card under National Population register. The NPR card, which is compulsory for every resident, will carry a 12-digit Unique Identity number on its card. The ministry has also asked the UIDAI to conduct an internal audit to eliminate chances of fake cards,” said an officer of the home ministry.
Sources said IB officials undertaking the marathon exercise of a security audit will seek the help of tehsildars, village panchayats and post offices to trace the fake cards. As of April 2012 more than 6 lakh of the 13.68 crore Aadhaar cards issued countrywide, were returned undelivered over untraceable addresses.
(By Yatish Yadav, The New Indian Express, July 8, 2012)