Aadhaar norms for prisoners simplified; Home Ministry calls for camps at all prisons for enrolment or update

To cover prison inmates across the country, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has agreed to accept the Prisoner Induction Document as a valid document for Aadhaar enrolment or update.

Though the campaign to extend Aadhaar to prisoners was launched in 2017, the process did not proceed on expected lines, since the enrolment required valid documents prescribed by the UIDAI.

To simplify the process and make Aadhaar available to all prisoners, the UIDAI decided to accept the Prisoner Induction Document, generated from the ‘ePrison’ module and certified by the authorised prison officer, police sources said on Friday.

As of December 31, 2021, the National Crime Records Bureau has reported that there were 1,319 prisons in the country, including 148 central jails, 424 district jails, 564 sub-jails, 32 women jails and 10 borstal schools, with a total of about 5.5 lakh inmates.

Section 57 of The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, allows the use of Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose, if the use of the number is subject to the procedure and obligations under Section 8 and Chapter VI of the Act.

Ministry rolls out SOP

In a note to the heads of the prisons in all States and Union Territories on Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs called for making use of the dispensation made available by the UIDAI and facilitating the enrolment/update of Aadhaar through special camps. The Aadhaar saturation level in the country has crossed 93%, and it is nearly 100% among the adult population. Continuing with the measures to enrol all eligible residents, it was decided to conduct regular enrolment camps at the jails in co-ordination with the State governments, the Ministry said, and rolled out a standard operating procedure.

The use of Aadhaar could help to regulate the day-to-day prison administration work, such as production of inmates in court and their return to prison, transport, health facilities, shifting of inmates to hospitals outside prisons, interviews, free legal aid, parole, temporary release and education/vocational training, the Ministry said.

As of December 31, 2021, the National Crime Records Bureau has reported that there were 1,319 prisons in the country