People wait in queue at an Aadhaar camp in Agra, India. (Source: Twitter/ @UIDAI)

No General Scheme For Adults To Opt Out Of Aadhaar Programme, Says Government

The government on Friday said no general scheme had been created that gives an adult the choice to opt out of the Aadhaar programme since there was no such direction from the Supreme Court.

But, in line with the court’s judgement, necessary measures are being undertaken to formulate an exit scheme only for the children attaining majority who do not intend to avail the benefits of the scheme, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology SS Ahluwalia said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

To a question on whether the Unique Identification Authority of India had received requests for opting out of the Aadhaar scheme, the minister gave an affirmative reply. "No general option to exit from Aadhaar was laid down by the honourable court as a binding direction and consequently, no such option has been created," he said.

The minister said pursuant to the judgment of the apex court’s in September, "Such an exit scheme has only been mandated for children who have been enrolled with the consent of their parents, who shall be given an option to exit on attaining the age of majority provided they do not intend to avail the benefits of the scheme.”

Also read: Is Government Walking A Thin Line With Proposed Amendments To Aadhaar Law?

Accordingly, he said, necessary steps to formulate such an exit scheme for children attaining majority is being taken.

On whether UIDAI has prepared plans to delete all Aadhaar data with banks and telecom companies, Ahluwalia said the compliance of the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, and the Supreme Court order, including deletion of Aadhaar data, is required to be done by the concerned requesting entity on receipt of request by an Aadhaar holder.