Meghalaya is lagging behind in Aadhaar enrollment as the state registers only 32% Aadhaar coverage. Since the government of India has linked almost all the beneficiary schemes to Aadhaar, Meghalaya Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment expressed concern over the low coverage of Aadhaar card implementation in the state. The committee has urged the state government to speed up the coverage of Aadhaar in as short time as possible.
“The state has coverage of only 32 percent, so there are lot which needs to get done, many line department have to be coordinated together so that residents and citizens of the state of Meghalaya are not made to suffer due to inadequate arrangements for the registry of Aadhaar,” the committee chairperson Dr. M. Ampareen Lyngdoh said.
The Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment on Thursday has summoned the General Administrative Department of Meghalaya Government and enquired about the status of the implementation of Aadhar in the state.
Talking to reporters after the meeting Dr. Lyngdoh pointed out that the public now fear that they may stop receiving ration since the NFSA scheme has also been linked to Aadhaar.
Dr. Ampareen also informed that the state currently has only 304 Aadhaar card machines on the ground. “You have such a big population where you have the PMAYG, MNREGA, NFSA, and so many other schemes that are linking now to Aadhar, 304 kits are not sufficient,” she added.
Stating that over 500 machines are yet to be distributed since the machines need operators to handle these kits, Dr. Ampareen said, “The GAD is yet to distribute 537 kits in various parts of the state now a kit goes along with an operator, so they still haven’t got an idea as in how they are going to deal with an appointment of these 537 operator that will be required, because these operators can only be appointed on passing of the NSEIT examination.”
The committee urged the state government to open a training centre in the state to ease problems faced by applicants.
She said, “There is only one centre close to our state and that is in Guwahati and the Government has to impress upon the central Government to allow training of operators to also be imparted in our own home state.”
“If everybody has to go all the way to Guwahati to clear an examination to be eligible to be posted as operator for the machines it’s going to be difficult,” she added.
She further stated that due to over burden, GAD department has informed the Assembly committee that many errors also occur at the time of registration, names are spelt incorrectly, addresses are indicated wrongly, so the GPS mapping has now become a big problem.
Pointing out at the networking issues faced by the state, Ampareen said, “We also discussed the fact that networking is still a major problem in the state, so, what is happening therefore is that the generation of Aadhaar cards to applicants is taking a very long time. In this age of modern technology, once the application is received by the UIDAI, the cards take 3 to 4 months to reach the applicants because they still send these cards to the applicants by post. “
The committee has also requested the GAD to coordinate and convene meetings with all line departments where Aadhaar has been made compulsory and submit its report before the committee.
“We have requested the registering authority that is GAD department to immediately have coordination meeting with all line departments where Aadhaar has been made compulsory like C&RD, the food and civil supply, the health department, the education department for scholarship and other benefits and schemes,” she said adding, “We will wait for these reports and have a consultative meeting with the GAD. Whenever, we discuss the apprehension about implementation of the Aadhaar in the state of Meghalaya, according to the report of commissioner secretary we have been made to understand that there is no resistance about Aadhar registration as of now in Meghalaya.”
Meanwhile, the committee has also reviewed the unemployment scenario in the state. Member of the panel and Congress MLA from Mawsynram, Himalaya Shangpliang said there are lots of people, who mostly are youths, including those who have come back to the state due to COVID-19 pandemic but were not being provided with job opportunities. He said the committee was informed that the government is in the process of formulating projects to address the concern. EOM