Inaccessible UIDAI system leaves Aadhaar users in lurch

EPFO, PAN linking with Aadhaar cards stalled ahead of deadlines

The IT systems of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have been down over the past week, putting Aadhaar holders in a tizzy as deadlines loom to link their UIDAI identity details with their Employees’ Provident Fund Accounts and the Income tax department’s Permanent Account Number (PAN).

That the new Income Tax portal is yet to become fully functional, has compounded problems for those seeking to link their Aadhaar to PAN by September 30. Separately, by August 31, all EPFO members are required to link their Aadhaar cards in order to continue to deposit their monthly PF contributions.

Even those who just want to update their Aadhaar particulars to correct mismatches with other identity documents are at their wits’ end, with several users complaining that attempts to update details were not getting through online as well as at offline Aadhaar centres due to technical issues.

An official source confirmed that there were some glitches due to which the systems were down last week. “The system downtime impacted multiple cities,” he said. However, it could not be ascertained if this was a national outage and whether the systems are now back online.

Queries to the UIDAI on the issue did not elicit any response till the time of going to press. When contacted, a senior officer at the NIC, the Government of India’s IT arm, said they were not aware of any such issue.

Pune resident Indraniel Bhattacharya told The Hindu that he has been trying to update his address on Aadhaar for at least a week. “After multiple failed attempts to put in a request to change my address online, I was asked by the UIDAI customer care executive to visit the physical centre,” he said.

“I went to a post office in Pune, and then a private bank… but at both places, I was told the Aadhaar systems are down nationally and they have no information on what the issue is or when the systems will be back online.”

Some users also took to social media to register their complaints. As per the UIDAI website, in order to link Aadhaar with PAN, ideally, the citizen’s demographic details such as name, gender, date of birth, should match in both the documents.

“In case of any minor mismatch in the name provided by the taxpayer when compared to the actual data in Aadhaar, a One Time Password (Aadhaar OTP) will be sent to the mobile registered with Aadhaar. Taxpayers should ensure that the date of birth and gender in PAN and Aadhaar are exactly same,” the website states. In rare cases where the Aadhaar name is completely different from the one in PAN, then the linking will fail and taxpayer will be prompted to change the name in the database of either Aadhaar or PAN.

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