Thursday, January 2, 2014

DO YOU HAVE TO PAY A BRIBE TO GET AADHAAR CARD ?

DO YOU HAVE TO PAY A BRIBE TO GET AADHAAR CARD ?


I want an Aadhaar Card.

I have made repeated efforts to get an Aadhaar Card.

I have enrolled, I have re-enrolled – but till today I have not received my Aadhaar Card.

My numerous complaints have not been satisfactorily responded to by the UIDAI.

Let me tell about my efforts to get an Aadhaar Card.


FIRST ENROLMENT

I first enrolled for Aadhaar on 08 February 2012 (08/02/2012).

The enrolment centre was located in a leading IT Software Company in Pune and Enrolment Agency was “Tera Software Ltd”

There was a big rush and I had to wait for more than 3 hours in a queue before I was enrolled.

I was issued an acknowledgement receipt with an enrolment number.

I did not receive my Aadhaar Card for over 6 months despite repeated reminders from my side.

On checking Aadhaar Status on the UIDAI website, the status would show: “Your Aadhaar Number is under generation”.

Suddenly, 10 months after enrolment, in November 2012, the status said: “Your Aadhaar enrolment could not be processed due to data process error. Please re-enroll yourself at the nearest enrolment centre”


RE - ENROLMENT

Accordingly, I re-enrolled myself for Aadhaar on 10 December 2012 (10/12/2012).

The Enrolment Centre was located in IDBI Bank Hinjewadi Pune and the Enrolment Agency was “Sreeven Infocom Limited”.

I explained to the lady enroller that my first Aadhaar enrolment had failed due to data process error and asked her to be extra careful and ensure that my data was collected properly.

The enroller took due care and confirmed to me that my biometric details had been recorded perfectly.

She also cross-checked my documents of Proof of Identity (PAN Card), Proof of Address (Electricity Bill in my name) and even took a Date of Birth proof document from me and attached photocopies of all these documents to the form which she was forwarding.

She assured me that I would receive my Aadhaar Card within 3 months.

I was issued an acknowledgement receipt with an enrolment number.

This time the Aadhaar enrolment acknowledgement form had additional comments like “Good Fingerprint Quality”, “Biometrics Captured Fingers (10) Iris (2) Face” etc.

I eagerly waited for my Aadhaar card.

Unfortunately, exactly the same sequence of events happened as had taken place during the first Aadhaar Enrolment.

For the first few months the status report said: “Your Aadhaar Number is under generation”.

After more than 6 months had elapsed, the Aadhaar status said: “Your Aadhaar enrolment could not be processed due to data process error. Please re-enroll yourself at the nearest enrolment centre”

Why was “data process error” occurring again and again?

What exactly are these “data processing errors” which were happening more than 6 months after enrolment?

I sent emails to UIDAI (E-Mail id: help@uidai.gov.in) but received no response.

It seemed that things were moving in a circle and I was destined not to get an Aadhaar Card.


APATHETIC GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL SYSTEM OF UIDAI

It has been my experience that the UIDAI Grievance Redressal Mechanism is totally ineffective.

Since I am keen to get an Aadhaar Card and I do not want the same “data process error” to happen again and again, I made a number of complaints by email / helpline but did not receive any satisfactory response.

The only response to my complaints and grievances I received was a call from the UIDAI Mumbai Office that I should re-enroll once again (for the third time) and try my luck.

I asked the official: “This time can you please guarantee that that there will be no “data processing errors” and can you assure me that I will receive my Aadhaar Card?”

He laughed it off, saying: “Who can guarantee anything? The whole enrolment process has been outsourced to private companies. You re-enroll once more and try your luck. If your Aadhaar generation fails again, you keep trying again and again.”

This reply from UIDAI left me bewildered. I did not know whether to laugh or cry.

A few days ago, I discussed my Aadhaar woes with a friend of mine, who said matter-of-factly, “You have spent all your life in uniform serving in the Defence Services, so you don’t know anything about the outside world. In India, you cannot get anything done unless you pay a bribe.”

I was aghast.

“Do you have to pay a bribe for an Aadhaar Card?”

At first I did not believe my friend.

But then I read this news report that an Aadhaar enroller had been caught taking bribes for making Aadhaar Cards. What is worse, if you paid bribes you could get an Aadhaar Card made even without the necessary documents:


If corruption is rampant in the Aadhaar Enrolment System, it is no wonder that even illegal immigrants who are not citizens of India are being issued Aadhaar Cards, as frequent news reports say:




DO YOU HAVE TO PAY A BRIBE TO GET AADHAAR CARD?

The Government keeps saying that Aadhaar Card is voluntary.

But in actual fact they are making it compulsory by making Aadhaar mandatory for LPG subsidized cylinders and other requirements.

A retired defence officer told me that soon veteran armed forces ex-servicemen of the army navy and air force will not be able to avail medical treatment under ECHS unless they had an Aadhaar Card.

The more they make anything compulsory, the more the scope for corruption.

Will the virus of corruption infect the UIDAI Aadhaar System too?

The UIDAI is headed by Mr. Nandan Nilekani, a distinguished technocrat who has achieved outstanding success in the IT Industry.

My repeated efforts at obtaining an Aadhaar Card in an honest manner have failed, so I want to ask Mr. Nandan Nilekani a simple question: “Do I have to pay a bribe to get an Aadhaar Card?”



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