Aadhaar crisis in J&K

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Aadhaar is all in one identity proof acceptable anywhere in India and requires no further identity proof for any kind of services in India. In one go it has replaced all other sources of verification or photo identity cards used earlier, both offline or online. Be it airport check in or Ayushman card or bank account or voter Id card and almost every scheme of GoI Aadhaar is mandatory even for registration leave alone getting benefit. Passport, loan, admission in colleges, getting mobile SIM, gas connection, all we can say is this UID is a must in today’s Digital India. A visit to any of the numerous Aadhaar points reveal the hustle and bustle as well as enthusiasm of youth to get registered for Aadhaar, a sense of ownership and pride to be an Indian. Keeping in view of various security issues GoI stopped issuing Aadhaar to eighteen plus youth all over India without verification by State/UT Government portal and appointment of Nodal Officer since October 2022. Being a border UT Jammu and Kashmir has own local issues of foreign nationals infiltration across the border as well as allegations of even Rohingyas getting Aadhaar and thereby getting other documents like ration cards and voter Id cards causing demographic changes, specifically in Jammu. Some of these are able to get even Domicile Certificates with fake Aadhaar cards and as such compromising with national security as well as brewing anger against local administration’s inability to get fake Aadhaar checked and re-verified and ultimately cancelled. While other States/UT’s have complied but despite the fact that one and a half month has already elapsed yet local authorities have failed to either appoint Nodal Officer or making Government Portal available for verification in J&K. Result is chaos with serious ramifications. End of session is approaching and many students are already applying for professional courses as well as graduate courses in advance outside India and Aadhaar is first step for applying for passport. One and half month already gone, passport fee at the time of application and even appointment days have expired and students are running pillar to post for no fault of theirs. Even minor students have limited credit cards with restriction on single day cash limit which they are unable to upgrade. Along with these students another suffering class is Study Visas facilitators whose businesses have come to standstill due to present impasse. Situation of young patients is more precarious keeping in view their health and without passport they cannot be shifted outside India for medical emergencies. Same is the situation of NRIs who have planned their visits, well in advance, to get Aadhaar for their kids and get done other numerous activities dependent on Aadhaar card. All these have cascading effects, youth getting impatient, frustrated and some seriously concerned students even going in depression. Even forms of defence services and many other require Aadhaar card and in absence of it youth above eighteen is just feeling helpless and clueless. More shocking is the fact that there is no one to whom they can contact to address this grievance along with difficulties they are facing due to present situation. One fails to understand when clear cut instructions had been issued by GoI why local administration is unable to do the needful despite lapse of more than forty five days. This issue has snowballed into a major cause of inconvenience to the youth. Situation grants immediate attention of LG Administration to fix the responsibility, appoint the Nodal Officer and resolve the issue at the earliest to mitigate woes of youth. In case UT Administration is unable to get the requisite done then immediately GoI should intervene and direct Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to lift the blanket ban for the time being and help out UT Administration to get the Government portal incorporate the verification. Early resolution is the need of the hour without any further delay.