More than 79 lakh children aged 0 to 5 years were enrolled for Baal Aadhaar from April to July in the current fiscal year, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has said.
The ministry had announced on August 15 that the enrolment is part of the renewed effort to spread awareness about the Baal Aadhaar initiative among children below 5 years of age, and assist parents in taking advantage of its many benefits.
“Collection of biometric (fingerprints and iris) is a key feature in issuing Aadhaar as the same is required to establish uniqueness based on de-duplication of these biometrics. However, for Aadhaar enrolment of children in the age group of 0-5 years, these biometrics are not collected,” the ministry said.
Children below 5 years are enrolled based on their facial image and the biometric authentication of their parent or legal guardian who should have a valid Aadhaar card.
When enrolling for ‘Baal Aadhaar’, proof of relationship document—preferably a birth certificate—is required. For biometric authentication, a parent or legal guardian needs to accompany a child under the age of 5 to the nearest Aadhaar Seva Kendra.
The parent also needs to fill out a form for the child’s Aadhaar card before submitting it with the child’s birth certificate and the guardian’s Aadhaar card.
The next step includes clicking a picture of the child, but the biometric details will be only taken if a child is above 5 years.
The parent of the child would receive a text message within 60 days and the ‘Baal Aadhaar’ will be provided within the same period.
This particular identification card is issued in blue to distinguish it from regular the Aadhaar cards and will be considered valid until the child turns 5 years old after which the parents need to provide the child’s biometrics at an Aadhaar Seva Kendra to complete a process known as the mandatory biometric update (MBU), which includes the de-duplication process. After this, the child is then issued a standard Aadhaar card with no changes to its number.
The ministry in a statement said: “Baal Aadhaar registration is progressing very well, with increased speed across the country”.
Baal Aadhaar and The States
Since the approval of the Aadhaar Act in 2016 and the amendment in Aadhaar and Other Laws in 2019, it has become a driving force behind both ease of living and ease of doing business.
According to the data shared by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), till December 31, 2020, the overall Aadhaar saturation percentage in the 0-5 age group was 27.06% (including 36 states and UTs).
Data showed that till that period, a total of 45,63,451 Baal Aadhaar cards were assigned in Uttar Pradesh, followed by 32,65,597 in Maharashtra, 28,45,589 in Bihar, 23,90,174 in Gujarat and 23,03,666 in Madhya Pradesh, while Meghalaya saw only 1,783 cards issued – the lowest so far in India.
The July 2022 Aadhaar brochure said over 133 crore cards were generated across India, while 63 crore Aadhaar were updated, and more than 7,358 crore authentications were done as of April 2022.
Among all the Aadhaar cards issued, the percentage for adults (over 18 years) is 100.94%, for children between 5 and 18 years it is 92.49% while 25.19% children are eligible for Baal Aadhaar.
According to the IT ministry’s latest statement, while 2.64 crore children aged 0 to 5 had Baal Aadhaar by the end of March 31, 2022, this figure had risen to 3.43 crore by the end of July 2022.
The ministry also noted that the enrolment of children in this age bracket has already reached more than 70% of the target age group in states such as Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
Further, the registration of children (0-5 years) exceptionally high states and Union Territories, including Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Lakshadweep, according to the ministry.