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Government Clarifies:Aadhaar no proof of citizenship, birth date

Government Clarifies:Aadhaar no proof of citizenship, birth date

The 12-digit Aadhaar resident ID has been explicitly clarified on new cards and PDF versions as “a proof of identity, not of citizenship or date of birth.” This disclaimer, now prominently displayed, aims to discourage government departments and other organizations from using Aadhaar for citizenship or date of birth verification. Despite not being proof of citizenship, Aadhaar has been accepted by various government departments for purposes typically reserved for citizens or adults.

For instance, the Election Commission of India has accepted Aadhaar as proof of date of birth for voter enrollment. However, the recent clarifications on Aadhaar cards may challenge such allowances. The new IDs also caution that offline authentication should be done by scanning the QR code on the reverse side of the document or using an XML file issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which oversees Aadhaar.

Notably, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), responsible for the mandatory retirement fund for salaried employees, has ceased accepting Aadhaar as proof of date of birth. In a circular issued on January 16, the EPFO removed Aadhaar from the list of acceptable documents for this purpose.

The invalidity of Aadhaar as proof of date of birth and citizenship has been emphasized for years. In a 2018 memorandum, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology clarified that Aadhaar is not inherently a proof of date of birth, as the date of birth is based on a different document provided by Aadhaar applicants. A Bombay High Court judgment from the previous year reinforcing this point was cited in a December 2023 circular issued by UIDAI, reminding organizations of this fact.

Now, the disclaimer is visibly imprinted on all Aadhaar cards and digital copies issued to Indian residents. While Aadhaar serves as proof of uniqueness and residence, government agencies often accept it as a standalone proof of identity for citizens.

Conclusion:

While Aadhaar remains a proof of uniqueness and residence, its limitations for proving citizenship or date of birth are now more explicitly communicated. These developments underscore the ongoing evolution of the use and limitations of Aadhaar in various official capacities. It is essential for residents and organizations to be aware of these changes to ensure accurate and compliant use of Aadhaar as an identity document.

FAQ’s

Ques. What is the recent clarification on Aadhaar cards?

Ans.  The new Aadhaar cards and digital versions now explicitly state that they are “a proof of identity, not of citizenship or date of birth.” This disclaimer is prominently displayed to discourage the use of Aadhaar for these purposes.

Ques. Has Aadhaar ever been considered proof of citizenship?

Ans. No, Aadhaar has never been proof of citizenship. Foreign nationals are eligible to obtain Aadhaar if they have been living in India for at least six months.

Ques. Which government department has stopped accepting Aadhaar as proof of date of birth?

Ans. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), responsible for the mandatory retirement fund for salaried employees, issued a circular on January 16, removing Aadhaar from the list of documents acceptable as proof of date of birth.

Ques. Why has Aadhaar been invalidated for determining date of birth and citizenship?

Ans.  This invalidity has been emphasized for years. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology clarified in a 2018 memorandum that Aadhaar is not a proof of date of birth. A Bombay High Court judgment from the previous year supported this stance.

Ques. How should Aadhaar be authenticated offline?

Ans. Offline authentication should be done by scanning the QR code on the reverse side of the Aadhaar document or by using an XML file issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which administers Aadhaar.

Ques. Is Aadhaar still accepted for voter enrollment by the Election Commission of India?

Ans. Yes, the Election Commission of India still accepts Aadhaar as proof of date of birth for enrolling people to vote. However, the recent clarifications on Aadhaar may impact such allowances.

Ques. What does Aadhaar serve as proof of?

Ans. Aadhaar serves as a proof of uniqueness and residence. While it is not proof of citizenship or date of birth, various government agencies often accept it as a standalone proof of identity for citizens.

Ques. When did the recent clarifications on Aadhaar become more visible on the cards?

Ans. The warning that Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship was initially mentioned last year but has now been further clarified to include that it is not a proof of date of birth either. This warning is visibly imprinted on all Aadhaar cards issued to Indian residents.

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