UIDAI cancels more than 3.5 lacs Aadhaar numbers. What about yours?


No, do not worry your Aadhaar Number is not cancelled.

The Aadhaar Numbers had to be cancelled due to misuse done by the operators. Next, the question what type of misuse? There was misuse of biometric exception section by the operators. Rajiv Shukla said in Lok Sabha that all the enrollments under the biometric exception section have been cancelled. This has come into the notice of UIDAI that few operators have taken the advantage of this exception rule. Shukla said that all these enrollments were manually crossed-checked for any type of irregularity.

Yes, I will explain what is Biometric Excetpion.

This clause was introduced to address “outliers“, citizens whose iris or fingerprint could not be recognized by the system due to medical and physical conditions, manual labor, environment, or injuries.

There is no particular biometric modality that can be used to authenticate everyone without exception. So like any other technology even biometrics has exceptions. There will always be a set of population who will be temporarily or permanently excluded from a specific biometric system. We can term this set of people as ‘outliers’.



The outliers may fall into one of the following categories:

• People with missing biometric characteristic, for example: No iris or no fingers

• People with hard manual labor (like construction, mine workers) having all of their fingers in extremely poor condition with respect to fingerprint quality

• Injured people having cut finger, broken hand.

• People having illness such as cataract problem, burnt fingers

• Extreme environmental conditions with direct sunlight, high humidity and dryness

• Very young (children) and very elderly population having undefined features, soft and wrinkled skin

Biometric exception can be classified under two categories

(i)           Failure to acquire (FTA),

(ii)         (ii) Failure to use (FTU).


Failure to acquire (FTA) means the failure of a biometric system to capture an image of sufficient quality and extract biometric data. FTA cases will be mostly associated with the temporary outliers.

Failure to use (FTU) means the conditions where biometric attributes (fingerprint and/or iris) does not exist or all biometrics are of extremely poor quality. FTU cases are associated with the permanent outliers. Manual intervention/ override have to be implemented for Failure to Use (FTU) cases. Intervention should be done by authorized personnel or operator in any of the following modes:

Demographic verification: The resident’s demographic detail can be obtained from CIDR and verified with the demographic details submitted at the Point of Service/ Authentication point.

• OTP based authentication: In case of FTA/ FTU cases, the operator can use OTP for authentication of the resident.

• Document verification and Photo Verification: By verifying valid Proof of Identity/ Proof of Address documents/ valid Photo identity cards, the operator can establish the authenticity of the resident with reasonable accuracy.


An Aadhaar enrolment officer typically is tasked to photograph the lack of biometric proof, and record the demographic information, or another proof-of-identity.


Here is where the misuse started. One theory is that some operators to make some quick bucks completed the Aadhaar documentation even when they were not eligible for Biometric exception rule.  Another theory is that the whole idea was to create fake Aadhaar numbers.


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