The practice of laminating Aadhar cards could do more harm to the card than good, with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issuing a statement cautioning people against continuing with the same. UIDAI also stated that choosing plastic Aadhar cards can result in the Quick Response code present on the card becoming dysfunctional.
A number of people opt for plastic cards or choose to get their regular cards laminated in a process to prevent damage to the card.
UIDAI officials stated that any unauthorised printing of the card can damage the QR code, further stating that the mAadhar and copies of the Aadhar taken on regular paper are valid for use. There is also no need for the copy of the card to be in colour, with black and white copies accepted as well.
Additionally, individuals can also show the Aadhar letter or the cutaway portion of the letter in instances where their Aadhar is required.
In addition to any unauthorised printing damaging the card, such printing is also expensive, with it costing anywhere between Rs.50 and Rs.300 for the same.
The move to caution the public comes following reports of people receiving calls from organisations which offered to provide laminated/plastic cards. Government officials feel that such agencies could misuse the information provided by individuals. Individuals/agencies found collecting Aadhar information without authorisation could be imprisoned under the Aadhar Act and acts under the Indian Penal Code.
There has been concern over the misuse of personal information provided under Aadhar, with reports of data being sold for a few hundred rupees making the rounds recently. The UIDAI recently introduced a virtual identification tool which individuals who wish to show identification can use, with this virtual id not requiring the sharing of one’s Aadhar number.
According to information provided by UIDAI, close to 1.17 billion people are registered under the scheme, amounting to 89.1 per cent of the population.