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Banks allowed to hire machines, staffers for Aadhaar enrolment

The UIDAI has provided some “relaxation” to banks in procurement of enrolment machines and hiring private data entry operators for their Aadhaar centres, and hopes that banks will offer such services at stipulated 10 per cent of the branches “at the earliest”, its CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey has said.

The Aadhaar-issuing body, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has allowed banks to hire private data entry operators and enrolment machines and expects the relaxation to speed up the opening of Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres at bank premises.

But the reprieve has been granted with the condition that banks will have to ensure proper supervision of enrolment and updation process within their premises.

“They (banks) wanted some relaxation so that they could hire operators for data entry, and also …hire the enrolment machines.

So we have provided them this relaxation. Now using that, they are going ahead and setting up the (enrolment) stations…they have assured that they will do this task as early as possible,” the UIDAI CEO told PTI in an interview.

Until now, banks had to procure enrolment machines on their own and place their own employees for the job of data entry, he explained.

So far, only about 3,000 branches of private and public sector banks have opened Aadhaar centres within their premises as against the targeted 15,300 branches that are required to do so.

“The good thing is they are all catching up and they have started getting into this. Many of them have placed order on GeM (Government e-Marketplace) portal and they are in the process of procurement,” he said.

Asked about the time it would take for banks to achieve the target of opening Aadhaar centres in at least 10 per cent of their branches, Pandey said, “It should be possible within next few weeks”.

“The entire idea is that people should get the convenience as early as possible,” he added.

On whether the UIDAI would take action against the banks for not meeting the deadline of October 31 for opening such centres, Pandey declined to spell out the consequences saying that the authority will have to take a considered view on whether banks can demonstrate valid reasons for missing the deadline.

“If they (banks) are able to demonstrate that they faced a genuine difficulty then appropriate view can be taken. At this stage, it is difficult to say what exactly will be the consequences,” he added.

The Bank Aadhaar Kendras are being set up with a view to make the Aadhaar verification process of bank accounts convenient for the people and also to have more Aadhaar centres across the country.

According to UIDAI stipulation, 43 private and public sector banks have to open Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres in 15,315 branches.

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