POLITICS

No denial of vaccine or COVID-related service if person does not have Aadhaar: UIDAI

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Saturday asserted that no one should be denied vaccine, medicine, hospitalisation or treatment just because they do not have an Aadhaar.

UIDAI said that Aadhaar should not be misused as an excuse for denial of any essential service. In a statement, the UIDAI said there is a well-established exception handling mechanism (EHM) for Aadhaar, and that it should be followed to ensure delivery of benefits and services in the absence of the 12-digit biometric ID.

The statement has come in the present Covid-19 pandemic situations against certain reports suggesting that vaccination and a few other essential services like hospitalisation were being denied to the residents for want of Aadhaar.

UIDAI said that in the Covid pandemic circumstances, no one shall be denied a service/benefit just because he/she doesn’t have an Aadhaar.

If one does not have Aadhaar or if Aadhaar online verification is not successful due to some reason, the concerned agency or department has to provide the service as per Section 7 of Aadhaar Act, 2016 and the Cabinet Secretariat OM dated 19th Dec 2017, UIDAI said in a statement.

The Aadhaar-issuing body has advised that in case of any such denial of service or benefit, the matter should be brought to the notice of the higher authorities of concerned departments.

If a resident does not possess Aadhaar for some or other reason, she/he must not be denied essential services as per Aadhaar Act.

UIDAI said that Aadhaar is meant to bring transparency and accountability in public service deliveries through effective use of technology and there are exception handling regulations issued by UIDAI vide its circular dated October 24, 2017 to ensure that no beneficiary is denied of benefits/services for the want of Aadhaar.

Also, relevant provisions are there in the Aadhaar Act under Section 7 to ensure that there is no exclusion and no denials.

“Further, the Cabinet Secretariat OM dated December 19, 2017 has clearly explained the exception handling mechanism by using alternate means of identification for extending benefits and services to the residents who do not possess Aadhaar or in cases where Aadhaar authentication is not successful due to any reason,” UIDAI said.

(With agency inputs)

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