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500 missing children traced through Aadhaar: UIDAI

Here is a computer-rendered sample of an Aadhaar card. Image source Wikimedia via PageImp. Photograph: (Others)

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Nov 24, 2017, 11.11 AM (IST)

As many as 500 missing children have been traced through the Aadhaar biometric identification card over the last few months, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) revealed on Friday.

"Over the last few months, more than 500 missing children have been identified through Aadhaar," UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said while addressing a session at the Global Conference on Cyberspace (GCCS) 2017.

Explaining how this was achieved, he said that a child found in an orphanage underwent Aadhaar enrolment and it was found that his/her 12-digit biometric identifier had already been made.

"...Through that we are able to trace," the UIDAI CEO said, adding on a lighter note that the script of classic Bollywood potboilers about siblings separating and re-uniting after decades would now have to be re-worked with Aadhaar in the picture.

According to child rights NGO CRY (Child Rights and You), about 180 children go missing on an average every day.

The number of children who went missing and remain untraced across the country increased by about 84 per cent between 2013 and 2015, CRY said.

India has the largest number of children in the world. As per the 2011 census, about 40 per cent of the 1.2 billion population was below 18 years of age.

Mr Pandey, who was speaking at the session on "Digital Identity for All: Global Best Practices", further said the total savings so far on account of Aadhaar was over USD 10 billion as its linkages to various government schemes had helped remove "ghosts and duplicates" from the system.

Once Aadhaar is linked to more government programmes and subsidies, the savings could be USD 10 billion every year, he said.

Total Aadhaar base currently stands at 1.19 billion, the UDAI CEO said, adding that 99 per cent of adults have Aadhaar. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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