Aadhaar numbers assigned to adult residents in six of the country’s states and union territories have exceeded their respective populations as per the projected 2017 census figures. This information comes after a report on the State/UTwise Aadhaar saturation was published by UIDAI on 15 November 2017. The Aadhaar coverage of Delhi and five other states and union territories have already exceeded the population.
Anomaly in figures
Experts claim that this anomaly between the census figures and Aadhaar numbers assigned in the states is not abnormal. Apart from attributing it to the increase in population since 2011 and migration of residents in between states, they also allege that certain “gaps” in census enumeration and projection of census may have left scope for errors in the population data.
Aadhaar coverage of Delhi is the highest at 116.6% of their 2017 projected headcount. Other states reflecting the similar trend are Goa at 101.5%, Himachal Pradesh at 101.1%, Haryana at 100.9% and Telangana at 100.5%. Punjab and Chandigarh are at 100.4% and 100% respectively. So far, Delhi tops in terms of Aadhaar saturation with 21,118,622 Aadhaar numbers assigned to date. However, UIDAI officials have dismissed the possibility of any error in Aadhaar enrollment claiming that the data collected by them is foolproof as the biometric associated with each number is unique to each resident. An expert pointed out that one cannot vouch for census data as the enrollment data is highly decentralised.
The Logical Indian take
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number which is issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data. It is the world’s largest biometric ID system, with over 1.1 billion enrolled members as of 28 February 2017. The Aadhaar has also been described as “the most sophisticated ID program in world”.
Its scope has been greatly expanded in the recent months, with the government pushing it to be made mandatory for availing welfare programs and official programs. Primarily because of this reason, the Aadhaar program has seen the Supreme Court and the government at odds with each other.
This unique identification number is being linked to PAN, bank accounts and mobile phone numbers as well.
Such an anomaly of figures, where the number of allocated unique identification numbers exceed the population of a city, point at glaring inconsistencies.
This is what the common man tweets about Aadhaar coverage exceeding the headcount of Delhi and other states:
Why statistics are misleading? If you look at the all India figure, it's still 118.8 crores, not crossing the total population.. But look at the Statewise figures & then look at district wise figures to understand about this great invincible ID pic.twitter.com/dlYwe4HFg0
Let us take the case of Delhi. As per UIDAI data, the projected population is 18,110,349 and the total number of assigned Aadhaar cards are 21,118,622. This shows a saturation percent of 116.6%. This can also be interpreted in two ways – either the actual headcount in Delhi has exceeded the projected population or there is an exceptional increase of fake Aadhaar cards circulating within the system.
The Logical Indian is perturbed with the manner the government is pushing Aadhaar to be made mandatory. If this is the state of affairs, one is bound to raise questions about the authenticity of these “unique” identification numbers.