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What happens to your Aadhaar when you die? Here’s what the Govt of India is planning…

Aadhaar has been so deeply integrated in our lives that it has become the primary identification document for most. Filing income tax returns, availing government benefits, or even getting vaccinated against Covid-19, Aadhaar is an important document needed for a lot of activities and is absolutely crucial for KYC. 

The government even allows enrolling children for Aadhaar even before their birth certificates are made. But what happens when someone passes away? What happens to their Aadhaar?

It’s not deactivated, disclosed the government. Answering a question on the status of Aadhaar after its owner’s demise, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar informed Lok Sabha that there are no provisions to deactivate Aadhaar an account after the person it was assigned to dies.

Chandrasekhar said that currently there is no arrangement to receive the Aadhaar number of deceased persons to cancel them. But efforts are on to change this. Chandrasekhar told the Lower House that the Registrar General of India had sought suggestions of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on the draft amendments to the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969 so as to take the Aadhaar of the deceased person while issuing the death certificate.

Currently, Registrars of Births and Deaths are the custodian of birth and death data. There is no mechanism to receive the Aadhaar number of deceased persons from the Registrars to deactivate Aadhaar. But once the framework to share Aadhaar between these entities is established, Registrars will share the Aadhaar number of the deceased with UIDAI for deactivation.

Deactivation after death or linking it to death certificates will prohibit misuse of Aadhaar numbers after the death of their owners.

Last month, UIDAI initiated a facility where people can update the mobile number seeded with their Aadhaar number through a postman at their doorstep. India Post Payments Bank and Unique Identification Authority of India have entered an arrangement to allow postmen to update mobile numbers of Aadhaar cardholders.

Launched in 2009, Aadhaar is a 12-digit identification number with biometric data embedded in it. As of March 31, 2021, UIDAI has issued 128.99 crore Aadhaar numbers to residents of India.

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Tejaswini Pagadala

Communications Consultant: TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.
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