UID enrolment in Mysore

It may take a while before residents in rest of  India get  their Unique ID number.  Mine would be ready and speed-posted  by this month-end, they say . As Mysore  residents , my wife and I  have had the opportunity for early  UID enrolment,  as  Mysore and Tumkur  are the first two places where they are trying it out  as a pilot programme.   Enrolment  for UID number  is more elaborate  than the conduct of national census. The process entails digital techology –  computer, web cam, fingerprint and iris imaging gadgets. Unlike in the census operation , where school teachers are drafted  for door-to-door survey,  UID enrolment requires technicians to handle gadgets ; besides, it is not a door-to-door   exercise.

Those  seeking UID number would have to report to an enrolment centre,  where the equipment is in place. The process takes about 20 minutes,  during which  your photo is taken with camera fitted on computer, and  finger prints (all ten) and iris (both eye) are digitally recorded. You are obliged to fill out a form detailing name,  address, contact cell/e-mail, bank account number, those of ration card and gas connection, and particulars regarding social welfare schemes of which you might be a beneficiary.  You can’t be faulted, if you wonder what is there in it for you. If it is a matter of having ID proof, many of us have passport, PAN number, driving licence and a host of other cards.  UID is trotted out to be a one-card wonder that enables the authorities  to access your social horoscope from a digital database.

While there may be individuals who wouldn’t want to be bothered with all this, there would be lots more volunteering to enrol themselves.  The enrolment programme, as implemented in Mysore, leaves much scope for improvement. Data the you fill out in prescribed form does not ask for your PAN or passport number. Nor do they want to know about credit-cards you may have.   The government has outsoursed enrolment in Mysore  to a private agency  – Comat Technologies –  which has set up shop on the Dasara Exhibition grounds.  They have six systems in place for simultaneous enrolment of as many persons.

The company staff handling enrolment,  I found , were polite and patient in their public dealings.  My wife and I  made   two trips to the enrolment centre – the first time to get the enrolment form (which seemed in short supply); and another visit  on the subsequent day for verification of documents and allotment of an  enrolment date.  We  would have had to make yet another trip , had it not been for the consideration shown by the enrolment  staff for senior citizens.  Most others who had their  document verification, along with us,  on Nov.4  were asked to report on  Nov.16  for UID enrolment.

While the technical process  is handled by the private agency –  of which the staff reported on time –  the document verification is done  by a government employee, who appeared to take his time to show up, unmindful of public  inconvenience he/she causes by late-coming . The Exhibition Ground UID enrolment centre opens at 11 am, but the document verification official did not turn up until noon, this too after we had the matter reported to person in charge .  Official concerned appeared unmindful of the lengthening  queue, with people lining up at the document verification counter 15 minutes before the 11 a m start.   The enrolment company officials, who had no hold on the government employee deputed for document verification  pleaded helplessness when we protested over the hold up of the document verification process, caused by the absentee govt. official at the UID centre.

The UID enrolment process,  far from being people-friendly appeared indifferent to them.  One can’t understand why the enrolment agency  can’t start work earlier than  11 a m.  Railway reservation counters open 8 a m.  So do  some banks.  Considering that UID enrolment in Mysore  is time-bound (till end of December)  wouldn’t you  expect  the enrolment centre  to be more time-conscious ? What is more, they should consider working on  Sundays. Some other suggestions:

1) If the govt. must depute its  employee for  document verification, he/she should be made accountable to the person incharge at the enrolment centre.  They should  display on wall , for public info.,  the contact number of  the govt. official  concerned with document verification.

2) The authorities should  arrange to distribuite UID enrolment forms freely,  at the district and city corporation offices, post-offices, banks. As of now these forms are in short supply even at the enrolment centre. They scan copies of the form  whenever someone asks for it.  This takes up  time of those engaged in enrolment process.

3) Why should someone have to make three visits for UID enrolment ? Couldn’t  document verification be done by authorised officials in any govt. office ?  Getting the date for enrolment could be done  online or through toll-free helpline.

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One Response

  1. Yes. Your observations and questions are right. My suggestions to Mr.Vidyashankar on 9/11 at Mysore One Centre have been noted and his reaction was immediate. The forms are available now and people have been advised not to pay for the forms/filling up. But some illiterate people still require assistance. This is where the system has failed. Pr.Secy has his own constraints for making available help desk man power but at JSS Law College while delivering the key note address, he has sought the help of student community to volunteer to make Aadhaar free from problems (though not cumbersome).

    Even we, elders can make a difference and voluntarily help people who cannot fill up the forms without charging them Rs.10 to Rs.20 as is being done by some unscrupulous elements right under the nose of all and sundry officials trotting in and out.

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