Indian govt urged to change norms for eligibility of NRIs to get Aadhaar card

Published: Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:56 Updated: Wed, 01/10/2018 - 12:57

Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust (PBWT) has requested Indian Government to change the eligibility to obtain Aadhaar card to all Indian citizens irrespective of the residential status and permit NRIs also to take Aadhaar card.

In a letter to Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, KV Shamsudheen, Chairman of UAE- based, Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, said that NRIs were very happy to read the announcement in this regard. But two years have elapsed and nothing happened. “We all are eagerly waiting for the implementation to solve our plight,” said  Shamsudheen.

According to  Shamsudheen, two years back, while inviting the diaspora community to actively participate in India's growth story,  Swaraj had said that the government is considering giving Aadhaar cards to Non-Resident Indians and a decision on it will be taken soon.

Shamsudheen said, “Recently the CEO of UIDIA published a circular in which he advised all Indian authorities not demand Aadhaar card from Non Resident Indians, because they are not eligible to take Aadhaar as per the current law.”

In spite of that all the authorities are demanding Aadhaar from NRIs to get gas, to get mobile SIM, to renew and to apply for driving license, to digitalize property document, to appear entrance examination, and many more, he said.

According to him, during the past two weeks many NRIs were on New Year vacation, they were struggling a lot to get all these services from the service providing departments. 'So we request you to make NRIs also eligible to take Adhaar, that is the only solution for the present difficulties.'

He said that other countries whIch have biometric identity cards, issue it to all its citizens, but only India is in the world issuing it to only residents. 'We request you, like all other countries, issue Aadhaar to all Indian citizens irrespective of their residential status.'

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued instructions regarding the applicability of Aadhaar as an identity document for Non Resident Indians (NRIs), Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizen of India (OCIs).

Stating this on January 9, a Haryana Electronics and Information Technology department spokesman said that a circular issued by the UIDAI stated, “Aadhaar as an identity document which may be sought only from those who are eligible for it as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016.”


Shamsudheen said, “Recently the CEO of UIDIA published a circular in which he advised all Indian authorities not demand Aadhaar card from Non Resident Indians, because they are not eligible to take Aadhaar as per the current law.”

He said most of the NRIs, PIOs and OCIs may not be eligible for the Aadhaar enrollment as per the Act. Several representations have been received from individuals such as NRIs, PIOs and OCIs informing about difficulties being faced by them on demand of Aadhaar by respective authorities in respect of various services and benefits.

He said it has been brought to the notice that some of the departments and implementing agencies concerned are insisting the NRIs, PIOs and OCIs to submit or link their Aadhaar for availing the services and benefits that are directly or indirectly connected with them regardless of the fact that they may not be entitled for Aadhaar as per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

The Aadhaar Act, 2016 lays down that “every resident shall be entitled to obtain an Aadhaar number by submitting his demographic information and biometric information by undergoing the process of enrollment.”

Further section 2(v) of the Aadhaar Act defines ‘resident’ as an individual who has resided in India for a period or period amounting in all to 182 days or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrollment. The laws regarding submitting or linking of Aadhaar for availing the services or benefits applies to the resident as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016, he added.

The spokesman said most of the NRIs, PIOs and OCIs may not be eligible for Aadhaar enrollment as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016. However, the implementing agencies may devise a mechanism to ascertain the genuineness of status of such NRIs, PIOs and OCIs. He said that section 7 of the Aadhaar Act provides that if an Aadhaar number is not assigned to an individual, the individual shall be offered alternate and viable means of identification for delivery of subsidy, benefit or service.

He said it has been recapitulated through various notifications and circulars that the requirement of getting Aadhaar is only in respect of those individuals who are entitled for it as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016. In this regard, reference may be drawn to Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2017 and section 139 AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 which clearly stipulate that linking of bank accounts and PAN respectively, is for those persons who are eligible to enroll for Aadhaar as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

The spokesman said all the Administrative Secretaries, Heads of Departments, Divisional Commissioners, Managing Directors, Chief Administrators and Chief Executive Officers of Boards, Corporations and Public Sector Undertakings, Deputy Commissioners and Registrars of all Universities in the state have been directed to ensure compliance of these instructions.

UNI