The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said that as per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 that states that Aadhaar should be sought from those who are eligible for it, the norm should be implemented as per the Act for all ‘residents’ of the nation living inside the country or abroad. Bringing respite to lakh of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCIs) the authority has clarified that government agencies can now exempt individuals who do not fall under the ambit of Aadhaar act from furnishing the identity proof to avail the benefits as they are not eligible for the unique digit identity, reports The Indian Express. The Aadhaar Act according to a circular released on November 15 by UIDAI CEO Bhusan Pandey suggests, “that all Central Ministries/Departments/State Governments and other implementing agencies may keep in consideration the following while seeking Aadhaar as a proof of identity: (a) Aadhaar as an identity document may be sought only from those who are eligible for it as per the Aadhaar Act 2016; and (b) most of the NRIs/PIOs/OCIs may not be eligible for Aadhaar enrolment as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016”.
In the circular, the authority said that they have been receiving several instances from NRIs, OCIs and PIOs informing that they were facing difficulties in maintaining NRO and NRE bank accounts and appearing as students in different exams abroad, Express reports. The NRIs, OCIs and PIOs have been facing trouble because the Act suggest that only ‘residents’ of the nation can enrol for the identity card. As Section 3(1) says that “every resident shall be entitled to obtain an Aadhaar number by submitting his demographic information and biometric information by undergoing the process of enrolment”. Further in Section 2(V), the definition of a resident was specified as someone who has “ resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to one hundred and eighty-two days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment”.
The Act also suggests that as according to Income Tax rules linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts is necessary there will be provisions for those who are not assigned the identity card. The Indian Express report says that the circular read, “The Ministries/Departments are requested to issue appropriate directions to the State Governments/ implementing agencies concerned on the above and also give it wide publicity” and ended with “implementing agency” to “devise a mechanism to ascertain the genuineness of status of such NRIs/PIOs/OCIs”.