Noting that Aadhaar was an ‘irreversible process’, Unique Identification Authority of India Chairman Nandan Nilekani said on Friday they have targeted to enroll 60 crore (600 million) people by 2014.
"As of now we have done 45 crore (450 million) enrolment and by 2014 we will have done 60 crore enrolment, which is one out of every two residents of India. We have so far issued Aadhar numbers to 37 crore people," Nilekani told reporters after a review meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy this afternoon.
He said the entire process might take a few more years to be complete.
"Today we have Aadhar generation capacity of 20 crore (200 million) a year.
"So it will take a few more years. I don’t know how long it will take, but it will happen.
"Now its an irreversible process," the UIDAI Chairman said in reply to a question. Questioned about the inordinate delay in enrolment and issue of Adhar numbers, Nilekani observed: "There will be issues and we have also had a backlog.
"We are sensitive to this and we are doing everything we can to address that.
"This is a very large project.
"Forty-five crore enrolments is huge.
There are some challenges and we will handle all those things."
What are the challenges, he was asked to which Nilekani said, "If we have enrolled 80-90 per cent of the population.
“The balance 10 per cent is what we have agreed.
“Now we have to find out where they are.
“They may be in some remote area. . . some tribal area. Now we have to go and find them.
“Its always the last 5-10 per cent that is the most (challenging). We have to find where they are."
He said they would henceforth look at an entire state on PIN code basis.
"We will see which PIN code has less enrolments and will have special enrolment camps in those areas to catch up with everybody," he added. "
Commending the progress made by Andhra Pradesh in enrollment and issuance of Aadhar numbers, Nilekani said within the next four months they wanted to make it universal.
So far, eight crore people have enrolled for Aadhar in the state while Aadhar numbers for 6.30 crore of them were generated.
"They (state government) are going to go all out and we are going to support them because we want to show the world how a state can run its public delivery using Aadhaar. “We want to cover everybody in the state so that there is universal Aadhar with everyone. We will make sure that Aadhar numbers are generated and letters are delivered," he said.
Asked why other states in the country were unable to match with AP in Aadhar, the UIDAI Chairman observed: "In every aspect AP is the leader.
"AP has certain very unique features.
"It has a strong government and a very strong technology-oriented civil service.
"AP has been a pioneer in so many schemes and in that tradition they continue to be so." Giving details about the review he had with the Chief Minister, Nilekani said they discussed how to roll out more business correspondents so that people could get money easily.
"Very importantly, the government has looked at all its schemes -- scholarships, pensions, NREGP payments and PDS -- and for all these schemes they are seeing at how they can use Aadhar to make delivery more beneficial and convenient for the citizens.
I think this is how an Aadhar platform will work and AP will demonstrate how an entire state will run on the Aadhar platform," Nilekani added.
About the synchronisation of Aadhar with Direct Benefits Transfer scheme, he said it was going very well and soon would see more activity.
Andhra Pradesh Information Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah was also present.