This post was originally published on 5 July 2019.
India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday proposed to issue Aadhaar cards to non-resident Indians (NRIs) holding Indian passport on their arrival in the country.
Currently, as per the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, only a resident who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 182 days or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment is eligible for Aadhaar.
Sitharaman stated that, it has been proposed that Aadhaar cards be provided to NRIs with Indian passports after their arrival in India without waiting for the mandatory 180 days. She says, “I propose to consider issuing Aadhaar Card for Non Resident Indians (NRIs) with Indian passports after their arrival in India without waiting for the mandatory 180 days.”
Aadhaar number is a 12-digit number issued by the UIDAI (“Authority”) to the residents of India after satisfying the verification process laid down by it. Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident of India, may voluntarily enrol to obtain Aadhaar number.
Person willing to enrol has to provide minimal demographic and biometric information during the enrolment process which is totally free of cost. An individual needs to enrol for Aadhaar only once and after de-duplication only one Aadhaar shall be generated, as the uniqueness is achieved through the process of demographic and biometric de-duplication.
Aadhaar identity platform with its inherent features of Uniqueness, Authentication, Financial Address and e-KYC, enables the Government of India to directly reach residents of the country in delivery of various subsidies, benefits and services by using the resident’s Aadhaar number only.
As on May 31, 2019, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had generated a total of 123.82 crore Aadhaar to residents of the country.
Additionally, Sitharaman also said, “To provide Non-resident Indians (NRIs) seamless access to Indian equities, NRI portfolio investment route to be merged with foreign portfolio investment route.”