When it comes to Aadhaar cards, plastic is not the way to go. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said that the conversion of the Aadhaar Card to plastic or PVC smart cards is not advisable “as the QR code commonly becomes dysfunctional during such unauthorised printing at some vendor/shop”.
In a statement on Tuesday, UIDAI said this will also lead to frauds and security risks. Aadhaar card holders often give their cards to third parties to get this conversion done. “There could be a possibility of sharing Aadhaar details (personal sensitive demographic information) without informed consent with some devious elements,” the statement said.
The CEO of UIDAI, Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, said in the statement: “So-called Aadhaar Smart card is totally unnecessary and a waste as during such printing its QR code often becomes dysfunctional.”
The UIDAI also added that a paper Aadhar card downloaded from the UIDAI website is perfectly valid. This is also true of the cutaway Aadhar card from the UIDAI letter and the M-Aadhaar.
The statement added: “Aadhaar letter or its cutaway portion or downloaded versions of Aadhaar on ordinary paper or mAadhaar are perfectly valid and people should not yearn for the so-called Aadhaar smart card as it may make them fall to the ploys of some unscrupulous elements who are printing Aadhaar on a plastic/PVC sheet and charging anywhere between Rs.50 to Rs.300 or more.”
“If a person has a paper Aadhaar card, there is absolutely no need to get his/her Aadhaar card laminated or obtain a plastic Aadhaar card or so-called smart Aadhaar card by paying money. There is no concept such as smart or plastic Aadhaar card,” added Dr. Pandey.
In case a person loses his Aadhaar card, he can download his Aadhaar card free of cost from https://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in. The print out of the downloaded Aadhaar card, even in black and white form, is as valid as the original Aadhaar letter sent by UIDAI. “There is absolutely no need to print it on plastic/PVC card or get it laminated,” the release said.
According to the statement, UIDAI has also cautioned unauthorised agencies not to collect Aadhaar information from the general public for printing of Aadhaar card as collecting such information or unauthorised printing of Aadhaar card or aiding such persons in any manner amounts to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under Indian Penal Code and Aadhaar Act, 2016.