The government has decided to eventually allow Aadhaar enrolment of non-resident Indians, persons of Indian origin and overseas citizen of India in order to help them authenticate their identity digitally, Parliament was informed on Friday.
''The government has decided that a longer term goal should be to expand Aadhaar enrolment activities in order to ensure that all persons on the Indian soil (resident Indian, NRIs, OCI / PIO and visa holding visitors) shall be empowered with a unique identity / identifier that can authenticated on a digital platform any time anywhere,'' minister for planning Rao Inderjit Singh informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
At present, all residents, including Indian nationals and foreigners with valid visas can be enrolled and provided Aadhaar number by the UIDAI.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is providing a unique identity numbers to residents, which can be digitally verified using the database.
According to official sources, UIDAI is working on the policy for Aadhaar enrolment of NRIs, PIOs and OICs after receiving a direction from the government on the issue.
However the minister stated that no time-frame has been formulated at this stage for achieving the goal.
The Aadhaar number helps in availing various services and benefits provided by the government.
It is a valid know-your-customer (KYC) document for various services, including banking, telecom, cooking gas subsidy, vehicle registration driving licence, government scholarships, pension and public distribution system.
The UIDAI was set up in January 2009 to issue Aadhaar numbers. It has generated 894.3 million Aadhaar numbers so far as per the information provided on UIDAI's website.