Administration states plainly that Aadhaar not evidence of nationality, birth date

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New Clarity Ensues: Aadhaar is not Proof of Citizenship or Date of Birth

The issuance of new Aadhaar cards now emphasizes a more apparent point: these identification cards are not credentials for citizenship or date of birth. Reader Wall reports this clearer phrasing to aid government departments and other institutions in avoiding misuse of Aadhaar for these contexts.

Aadhaar and Citizenship

Aadhaar has never been an identification proof of citizenship. Even foreign nationals living in India for six months are eligible for one. Yet, various governmental departments have been employing it for citizen-exclusive or age-specific services. These new amendments on the Aadhaar card are likely to confront such unregulated deployments.

Aadhaar and Date of Birth

Some government agencies have been erroneously accepting Aadhaar as proof of date of birth, including the Election Commission of India, which had used Aadhaar for voter registration purposes. The introduction of the new clarification disrupts this complacency. Note that the proof of authenticity for these IDs encompasses scanning the card’s QR code or using an XML file given to the cardholder by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the governing body of Aadhaar.

Changes in Acceptance

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), which manages retirement funds for salaried employees within India, has discarded Aadhaar as a proof for date of birth. As reported by Reader Wall, on January 16, EPFO put forward a circular, removing Aadhaar from the list of acceptable proofs for date of birth.

Validity of Aadhaar for Date of Birth and Citizenship

The Aadhaar card has not been recognized as proof of date of birth or citizenship for several years. In 2018, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology clarified in a memorandum that the date of birth is based on a different document given by Aadhaar applicants, making Aadhaar inadequate as a proof of date of birth.

Last year, a Bombay High Court judgment highlighted this and was mentioned in a December 2023 circular from UIDAI. Most Aadhaar cards now visibly showcase a note stating that they are not proof of citizenship or date of birth. Approximately a year back, this warning surfaced stating that Aadhaar was not proof of citizenship but now also includes that it is not proof of the holder’s date of birth.

The Role of Aadhaar

The 12-digit Aadhaar ID is a proof of uniqueness and residence, while different governmental agencies have been using it— often solely — for any citizens seeking to establish their identities.

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