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Aadhaar number increases convenience "dramatically": Nilekani

October 10, 2013 08:13 IST

Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani said the Aadhaar number "dramatically improves the convenience" and makes life "simpler".

"People often think that why do they need the Aadhaar number. Fundamentally, our view is that the possession of an Aadhaar number dramatically improves convenience in your life," Nilekani said at the launch of an Aadhaar-linked banking facility.

"You can use it for a variety of things, make your life simpler, get access to public services, transfer money," he said.

His remarks come a day after the Supreme Court refused to make having Aadhaar number compulsory to avail of the welfare benefits, on a plea by the Ministry of Petroleum to make Aadhaar enrolment necessary for cooking gas subsidy.

Nilekani declined to comment on the Supreme Court's stand, saying the matter is subjudice.

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday cleared the National Identification Authority of India Bill, which will provide statutory status to the Aadhaar authority.

Reacting to this, Nilekani said, "It is one more step of putting the organisation on an institutional footing and we are very happy that the bill has been passed by the cabinet."

It will be easier to regulate the activities of the UIDAI once the law is in place, he said.

Nilekani said that 44 crore Aadhaar cards have been issued in the last four years, and the target of enlisting 60 crore people by 2014 could be achieved.

The authority is upgrading its systems to issue numbers faster, and currently it can issue 1 million numbers a day, he said, adding that 25 million cards were issued in September.

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