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Assam last NE State to start Aadhaar works

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Sept 2 - The process of providing Aadhaar cards to the citizens gained momentum in most of the states of the Northeast, while the enrolment process in Assam is scheduled to start only from December 1. The Assam Cabinet took the decision of providing Aadhaar cards to the citizens of the State way back in May and only yesterday, the government finalized that the data collection process would start from December 1.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the process of providing Aadhaar cards to citizens is almost complete in Tripura and Sikkim, while around 70 per cent of the population has been covered in the states of Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The process was delayed in Meghalaya due to opposition by some organizations and it has started only recently.

On the plan chalked out for providing Aadhaar cards in Assam, sources revealed that the projected population in the State up to this year is around 3.40 crore and so far, around 22 lakh people have already received Aadhaar cards. Sources said most of those who have received Aadhaar cards in the State include the Central government employees posted in the State. These include defence personnel, residents of the State who are staying elsewhere in the country, employees of the State Secretariat and those who were covered during the pilot project launched in the districts of Nagaon and Sonitpur.

Sources said that it would be the responsibility of the State government to engage agencies to collect the data and upload it in the website of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) so that unique identification numbers can be generated to provide Aadhaar cards to the citizens. The State government has entrusted the GAD (general administration department) to act as the nodal agency for the purpose.

The UIDAI will give Rs 50 to the State government for enrolment of each person and in addition to the documents sought by the UIDAI, the State government can seek additional documents. The State government can engage only the agencies empanelled by the UIDAI for the purpose of enrolment. The process of selecting such agencies though tendering has already started.

The government is planning to divide the State into 10 divisions to expedite the process. Sources asserted that the process can be completed within a year as stipulated. Earlier, it was decided that the enrolment process would be completed within six months, but in yesterday�s meeting, the government decided that one year would be required for completing the job.

Sources revealed that the UIDAI would provide technical and other help to the agencies engaged by the State government and give training to the personnel engaged before the process starts. The agencies will set up camps in different locations of the State so that the people can enrol themselves easily and the number of such camps would be reduced gradually after enrolment of around 70 to 80 per cent of the population.

It may be mentioned here that in a few states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram, the state governments carried on the enrolment process directly through the deputy commissioners without engaging any agency, while most other states of the country engaged UIDAI empanelled agencies for the purpose.

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