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Allow civic bodies to issue Aadhaar cards: Bengal to Centre

Kolkata: The Bengal government is writing to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to allow the civic bodies in the state to carry out the work of issuing Aadhaar cards to ensure better and fast execution of the task.
Sources said the matter related to Aadhaar cards came up during a high-level meeting held at the state Secretariat, Nabanna, on Monday. The issue that a large section of people in the state is yet to receive their Aadhaar cards was raised at the meeting, also putting across the number of problems that they would have to face because of this.
It is learnt that considering the same, the state Home Secretary has been directed to write to UIDAI stating that the civic bodies are capable enough to carry out the task of issuing Aadhaar cards instead of the agencies engaged by the authority itself. It was also suggested that the employees of the civic bodies will receive training to carry out the same if need be.
Sources also added that at present the task of issuing Aadhaar cards is going on in around 250 centres across the state and there are around four such centres in Kolkata where people can now visit for Aadhaar registration.
It was further stated that the figure of issuing Aadhaar cards in Bengal stands at 97 percent. Above 60 percent of children below 5 years have got Aadhaar cards, around 90 percent of the population between 5 years and 18 years in the state have already got Aadhaar and 103 percent of the "projected population" of people above 18 years age has got their Aadhaar cards. It may be mentioned that issuing Aadhaar cards to children below 5 years had started since June 2016.
According to an official, a few months ago, the Centre had given a proposal to the state governments that the latter need to be "the registrar" and also bear certain legal and financial responsibilities in connection with issuing of Aadhaar cards.
However, the Bengal government has made it clear that similar to the issuance of passports and conducting Census, the Centre has to solely carry out the task of issuing Aadhaar cards.
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