The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked private as well as public sector banks to set up Aadhaar enrolment facility in at least one out of 10 branches in the coming weeks, a top official has said. Suitable changes have been made recently in Aadhaar regulations to facilitate this. At present, there are 25,000 active enrolment centres across the country but they operate from their own premises. However, none of these centres are being operated from bank premises.
“We are asking all Scheduled Commercial Banks – both public and private – to set up Aadhaar enrolment and updation facility inside the bank branches…at least in one of ten branches by August-end,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of UIDAI told PTI. There are 120,000 bank branches in the country and by this move 12,000 Aadhaar enrolment and updation centres will be set up in those branches, he pointed out. He further said that the direction will provide “convenience” to people given that Aadhaar is now mandatory for opening new bank accounts and for existing accounts as well.
Moreover, locating Aadhaar centres within bank premises will ensure that the enrolment happens in a secure environment. “The enrolment will happen in a secure and supervised environment. So there are less chances of complaints of corruption, over-charging or malpractices,” Pandey added. As it is, many private sector banks have requested that they be allowed to do enrolments for Aadhaar, Pandey said, adding that the authority will appoint them as `registrars’, if they are already not so.
Many banks are already ‘registrars’ but they do not have enrolment centres inside the bank premises. The government has recently made quoting of the 12 digit biometric identity number Aadhaar mandatory for opening of bank accounts as well as for any financial transaction of Rs 50,000 and above. Existing bank account holders have been asked to furnish the Aadhaar number issued by December 31, 2017, failing which the account will cease to be operational.