Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 08, 2013

 Last Updated: 21:26 IST(8/4/2013)

With the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) making electronic Aadhaar letter at par with printed letters, there is a sudden spurt in downloading resulting in frequent system failures.

The electronic Aadhaar is a system through which a person can download his or her Aadhaar letter after receiving the ‘automatic one-time password’. This has helped the UIDAI reduce complaints on account of residents not receiving Aadhaar letters through posts even months after enrollment.

As many government agencies were refusing to accept e-Aadhaar letters as valid documents to avail government services, the UIDAI recently clarified that the electronic letter was at par with the printed document.

“The issue has been considered and it has been decided that e-aadhaar is to be treated as a valid document in view of the fact that it has been digitally certified… The e-Aadhaar document is digitally signed using certificate issued by NIC (National Informatics Center), as per the IT Act, 2000,” said a circular issued by the authority

The UIDAI has also said that there is no difference between e-Aadhaar and printed Aadhaar letter as contents are exactly same. In fact, e-Aadhaar looks same as the printed version.

“I have been trying for over ten days but is unable to download my e-Aadhaar letter,” said Inderjit Singh, a resident of Janakpuri in west Delhi. “Every time I have tried it says the server is down.”

The UIDAI officials admitted of receiving a large number of complaints from residents of their inability to download Aadhaar letter from its special portal. “It was a problem. We have scaled up the system to cope with increased traffic,” a senior UIDAI official said.

On an average two to three lakh people visit the UIDAI’s public information portal every day to download the letter. “The traffic was less initially but it is on rise with coverage of Aadhaar enrollment increasing,” an official said.

The authority had enrolled over 31 crore people in 16 states and have issued around 25 crore Aadhaar numbers. By next year the authority is expected to enroll another 29 crore people. The remaining population will be enrolled by Home Ministry’s Census Commissioner under its National Population Register (NPR) programme.