Protesting staff demand that UIDAI upgrade its software with an option to verify the documents submitted by residents.
Nearly 12,000 Aadhaar enrolment operators have been suspended in the last two months due to a technical flaw in the document verification process.
Many of them were seen protesting outside the Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI’s) headquarters in New Delhi.
Many operators from parts of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh have been blacklisted.
The protestors demanded that UIDAI should upgrade its software with an option to verify the documents submitted by residents.
“For instance, if someone wants to change the date of birth on the Aadhaar card and submits a PAN card, we don’t have any authority to verify if the document is genuine or not,” said Narendra Kumar Gaud, an operator who was recently blacklisted.
“There are over 7,000 operators who were blacklisted in February 2022 for failing to verify just one such document,” he added.
An email sent to UIDAI for comments remained unanswered.
But a government official said, “Operators should approach enrolment agencies that work under regional offices instead of the UIDAI.”
According to the UIDAI website, over 1.3 million individuals work as certified operators and supervisors across the country.
The enrolment operators or supervisors are certified and appointed by enrolment agencies in accordance with UIDAI guidelines.
The operators work under registrars such as Common Service Centres (CSCs), post offices, rural development departments as well as some private entities.
They are responsible for enrolling residents with their demographic details and also have to capture the biometric information using the system activated by enrolment agencies.
Arpit Jaiswal, an operator from Indore, said, “We make more than 600 Aadhaar cards every month. There is no system in the software to verify the documents for demographic details. If there is a single error in this manual process, we will be blacklisted with DOE 1 (Document Error 1).”
Jaiswal was blacklisted by his registrar in January.
“I made a mistake in one Aadhaar card out of the 800 that I enrolled,” he added.
Jaiswal said, “We invest Rs 1.5 lakh to buy machines, and suddenly, we are blacklisted without any reason. They expect 100 per cent accuracy, which is not possible from a process handled by a human.”
Gurdeep Singh, president of the Aadhaar Supervisor Association, said, “The registrars get a show-cause notice about the errors done by us, but they don’t forward us that warning. We never get to know why we were sacked. They mark it as a DOE 1 error and write 'missing fraudulent document'.”