Chandigarh, July 15:

          The Election Commission of India (ECI) has made it optional for voters to furnish their Aadhaar Card details by introducing a new Form-6B, which will come into force from August 1, 2022.

          In view of the notification dated June 17, 2022, which specifies April 1, 2023, as the date on or before which every person whose name is included in the electoral roll may intimate his Aadhaar number, the Commission has decided to start a programme for the collection of Aadhaar number of the existing electors in a time-bound manner. 

          Divulging the details, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab Dr S Karuna Raju said that the purpose of collection of Aadhaar from existing electors is to establish the identity of electors and authentication of entries in the electoral roll and to identify the registration of the name of the same person in more than one constituency or more than once in the same constituency. He emphasised that submission of Aadhaar by electors is voluntary and in case the elector does not have the Aadhaar number, he/she can submit a copy of any of the 11 alternative documents, mentioned in the Form 6B.

          The ERO shall not delete any entry in the electoral roll on the ground of inability on the part of any existing elector to furnish Aadhaar details and shall not deny any new voter for non-submission of Aadhaar, he added.

          Divulging more details about the programme for the collection of Aadhaar numbers to be launched on August 1, 2022, the CEO said that special camps will be organised at booth levels in all assembly constituencies in the state by EROs. First camp shall be organised in all the assembly constituencies of the State on September 4, 2022. Apart from this DEOs, shall organise other various camps for collection of Aadhaar details.

          Apart from this, Dr Raju said that electors can also Self-Authenticate themselves by filling 6B Form online on elector-facing portal/Apps and authenticate Aadhaar using OTP received on his mobile number or they can submit Form 6B with necessary attachments online in case they are facing any trouble in OTP-based authentication.

          He said that the EROs would also deploy BLOs for House-to-House visits for the collection of Aadhaar numbers voluntarily from electors in the hard copy of Form 6B, besides organising Special Camps at cluster level on the dates coinciding with special campaign dates during special summary revision, where the electors would be persuaded to furnish their Aadhaar number voluntarily in Form 6B in hard copy. All off-line submissions of Form 6B would be digitised by BLOs using GARUDA or by ERO using ERONET within 7 days of the receipt of Forms.

          On confidentiality of Aadhaar numbers, Dr Raju said that they have strict instructions from the ECI that in no circumstances, the Aadhaar number should go into the public domain and Aadhaar details will be removed before putting elector’s information on public display. Similarly, while collecting Aadhaar details in hard copy, the Aadhaar details would be masked and also won’t be stored in ERONET.

          Meanwhile, all the DEOs and EROs have already been instructed for proper compliance of all directions pertaining to the collection of Aadhaar details.

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