The UIDAI registration forms have been made available for download on the website even before the launch of the programme; applicants with printed forms turned away
After doling out ID acknowledgement forms with wrong addresses, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which is spearheading AADHAR, the ambitious unique identification project, has made a blunder again, this time making an online UIDAI registration form available for download on its website even before launching the programme formally.
Waiting for inauguration: UIDAI officials said printouts of the forms
would not be entertained as the system had not yet been launched.
Illustration/ Jishu Dev Malakar
There's a link on the official UIDAI website directing you to the download option for the form for UID number enrollment. The website, however, fails to mention that the project has not even been inaugurated yet, making the forms null and void.
So think twice before you take the printout, laboriously fill in the sundry details and approach the officer at your nearest UID centre to submit it: for the only thing that will stare you back in the face is disappointment.
MiD DAY has received many complaints from citizens in and around Mumbai, whose forms, downloaded online and then printed out, were not accepted at the centres.
UIDAI officials confirmed that the printouts of the enrollment forms couldn't be entertained, as the online enrollment application programme is yet to be officially launched by the department.
Prashant Singh, assistant director general of UIDAI, said, "We have not yet inaugurated the online enrollment system. We have asked all agencies to convey this to people visiting UID centers. We are likely to inaugurate the application within the next few days, so people will not have to face inconvenience for long."
Data operators without uid numbers suspended
In another goof up that inconvenienced many applicants, UIDAI authorities have temporarily suspended data operators who do not have their own UIDs from making entries in the software, resulting in a grinding manpower crunch. The UIDAI authorities had made it mandatory for all data operators at UID centres to procure their own UID numbers by October 31. Those who failed to get hold of their UIDs were barred from working on the software. This, in turn, has made 40 per cent of the UID centres in Navi Mumbai and 20 per cent of the UID centres in Mumbai non-operational. Citizens have been reporting to these centres, only to be turned away.
Belapur resident Anand Potpuse said, "The enrollment for the UID number usually takes between five-six hours, as you have to wait in long queues. Keeping this in mind, I took leave from work for a day to enroll myself for the UID number. I was shocked when I reached the UID centre to find it closed. The office was deserted, and no one had been stationed to furnish information to applicants. We even tried to contact the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), but in vain."
Passing the buck
The NMMC predictably washed its hand of the entire issue, saying that the corporation is not responsible for the shutdown of the UID centres. Dr Sanjay Pattiwar, additional commissioner of NMMC, said, "NMMC's task is only to provide space for the UID centres and ensure the smooth functioning of the enrollment process. We have not been vested with the responsibility to deal with technical issues."
Commenting on the matter, Singh explained, "We have updated the UID software across the state. The updated software does not allow data entry operators to work on the UID projects unless they have their own personal UID numbers. The software does not process the data operators' entries if they don't have their own UID numbers. We don't want the application procedure of applicants to suffer delays because of the data operators. To ensure this, we have asked agencies under the state governments not to allow operators to work on the software unless they have their own UID numbers."