Aadhar-based authentications have seen an unprecedented decline in June. The usage of a 12-digit unique identity number has declined about 42 per cent to 859 million from a record 1.48 billion authentications in September last year.
It has been on a downward slope ever since. In October, Aadhaar authentication fell to 1.46 billion. Only in March it witnessed rise, where authentications touched 1.125 billion from 996 million in February, said ET report quoting UIDAI site.
Notably, the spike in authentication came after Supreme Court interventions.
The apex court, in March, extended the deadline for linking Aadhaar with mobile phones and bank accounts for an indefinite period. The SC said that its interim order will remain in force till further verdict. It also ruled that Aadhaar cannot be made compulsory for submitting forms for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) and other national entrance exams.
However, in the following month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has amended its ‘know your customer’ (KYC) guidelines, making Aadhaar and PAN mandatory to maintain a bank account. The move will be subject to the verdict in the apex court, added the central bank.
The apex court will resume hearing on the matter on Monday.
Till date, over 1.2 billion Aadhaar numbers have been generated. A citizen authentication is recorded when he uses the 12-digit ID to avail services.
Besides, demographic authentication also dropped to 78 per cent (170 mn) from last September 741.6 million.
The non-mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for some services was one of the factors for the drop in authentications. However, some worry that saturation levels have been touched as far as Aadhaar linking is concerned.
Entrackr queries to UIDAI CEO did not elicit any response.
Over the past 12-15 months, activists have been debating privacy concerns in the Supreme Court against the government over mandatory linking of 12 digits unique number. Meanwhile, the UIDAI has also now extended the deadline for deployment of the 16-digit virtual ID as an alternate to Aadhaar numbers till August this year.
Earlier, Senior advocate Shyam Divan, who is fighting a case opposing the mandatory nature of the scheme, contended in the court that banks accounts were being seeded with Aadhaar indirectly. He appealed to make unique identity optional and not compulsory.