The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has set up its first “Aadhaar Seva Kendra” (ASK) in Delhi and Vijayawada. UIDAI also said that it plans to set up 114 such centres in 53 cities across India. These two centres are currently operating on a pilot basis. The Aadhaar centres will facilitate enrollment, updation and other activities. The source also added that UIDAI is looking to set up the remaining centres by this year at a cost of ₹300-400 crores.
The UIDAI owned centres will operate along with thousands of other centres, which are currently being operated by banks and post offices, and in government premises. The ASKs also have an online appointment management system in place which will allow people to book slots according to their convenience.
The Delhi centre is located within the Akshardham Metro Station and can handle 1,000 enrollment/updation requests in one day. It is equipped with 16 workstations and will be operational six days a week excluding Tuesdays and public holidays.
Need for Aadhaar Seva Kendras
The Aadhaar Seva Kendras were announced by the UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey in October 2018. Modeled along the lines of Passport Seva Kendras, Pandey said that these ASKs would offer “hassle-free and resident friendly enrollment and update facility infrastructure to ensure ease in Aadhaar related services to residents”.
As a result of the Supreme Court decision in September 2018 that scrapped Section 57 of the Aadhaar Bill, UIDAI had decided to shift Aadhaar enrollment and update centres from private premises to banks, post offices, and state government premises that are under the direct supervision of the government. Instituting ASKs under the direct supervision of UIDAI is a way of respecting the Supreme Court’s decision.