Aadhaar is no longer mandatory for pensioners to get digital life certificate, Jeevan Pramaan, that is required to collect their pensions, according to the new rule notified by the government. The government has also made Aadhaar verification voluntary for its instant messaging solution ‘Sandes’ and attendance management at public offices under the Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation, Knowledge) Rules, 2020. “Aadhaar Authentication in Jeevan Pramaan is on a voluntary basis and user organizations shall provide alternate means of submission of Life Certificate. NIC shall comply with provisions of Aadhaar Act 2016, Aadhaar Regulation 2016 and the O.Ms (official memorandum), circulars and guidelines issued by UIDAI from time to time,” a notification by the Ministry of Electronics and IT dated March 18 said.
Digital Life Certificate for pensioners scheme was introduced to address the woes that pensioners faced as they were required to be present before pension disbursing agency or had the life certificate issued by authority where they served earlier and delivered that to the disbursing agency. The digital life certificate helped pensioners from physically travelling to the respective organisation. However, many pensioners complained about problems in getting pension due non-availability of Aadhaar cards or their fingerprints becoming unreadable. While some government organisations provided an alternate way of issuing pension in 2018, the notification to make Aadhaar voluntary for the digital life certificate has been issued now. Simultaneously, the Electronics and IT Ministry has made Aadhaar optional for users of instant messaging solution, Sandes app, developed by the National Informatics Centre. “Aadhaar Authentication in Sandes is on a voluntary basis and user organisations shall provide alternate means of verification. NIC shall comply with provisions of Aadhaar Act 2016, Aadhaar Regulation 2016 and the O.Ms, circulars and guidelines issued by UIDAI from time to time,” a separate notification dated March 18 said.
Developed under project name Government Instant Messaging System, the app is used within public departments. Proof of concept for the app is done by more than 150 organizations including Niti Aayog, MeitY, CBI, MEA, Indian Railways, Indian Navy, Indian Army, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Intelligence Bureau, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Department of Telecom, Home Ministry, etc. The government has plans to make available Sandes for the general public also. Aadhaar authentication has been made voluntary for biometrics attendance systems used in government offices through another notification on March 18. “Aadhaar Authentication in AEBAS is on a voluntary basis and user organizations shall provide alternate means of attendance,” the notification said.