An Aadhar card. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Non-Resident Indians, including Indian expats in the UAE, can now apply for Aadhaar, India’s unique identity card.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar, has rolled out the system for accepting applications from NRIs complying with the Indian government’s decision to remove the mandatory criterion of 180-day stay in India.

Non-Resident-Indians (NRIs) in the UAE have reacted positively to the Indian government’s move. Read what they have to say.

Anoop Bhargava, a finance professional based in Dubai said: “The Indian government’s move to allow NRIs apply for Aadhar card is laudable. This will allow NRIs to avail of facilities back in India – their home. Whether it is about a property investment or linking the card to avail basic essential services – today the Aadhar card is almost a pre-requisite for every Indian and NRI. It is a substitute for multiple papers which are otherwise required to be produced by NRIs. This eases the whole process.”

“The fact that we can apply this online and that as an NRI we are eligible for the card, makes us feel that we are one with India. It is a fairly easy identification for NRIs. Having one single identity will now enable us to feel at home. The Aadhar card has a unique identity today. It is a one-stop documentation, a substitute for pan card or election card or proof of residence or proof of domicile. With this one single identity card, all NRIs can avail of all services. This truly makes us feel as much a part of India as any other Indian does.

Kevin Dsouza, 31, working as sales manager for a private company in Dubai said: “The Aadhar card is a very important document. The last time I was in India, the Aadhar Card was critical. It was required for taking a telephone connection, an LPG gas connection and more. There are several benefits when this card is linked to bank accounts. We are talking about getting sim cards, paying municipality taxes. So it is a critical piece of card. Making it available for the NRIs is big news. And the fact that we can do it online is a greater piece of news. Kudos to the Indian government for making this happen for us. Having the Aadhar card also comes with benefits like saving time on submitting documents from the start. Again, all this saves a lot of time."

Akhila Godavalli, 34, Indian, a housewife said: “When I went to India, I struggled a lot trying to get an appointment to secure an Aadhar card. In fact, it took me a year and a half to secure this. I kept pursuing this – but it did not happen. The authorities kept shunting me around to get my card. I really welcome the Indian government’s move to issue Aadhar card online. It is a great piece of news which will help Indians secure their card.”

Ajay Shukla, 55, co-founder and regional managing director of Middle East for a private company said: “The real beneficiaries of an Aadhar card will be for the blue collar workers. By linking their Aadhar card with their bank – workers can avail several discounted rates and enjoy direct benefit transfers. There are several subsidies that these workers can avail.

Sethu Ramaswamy, a banker based in Dubai said: “I welcome the move by the Indian government to enable online registration for NRIs for an Aadhar card. Providing an identity to Indian citizens whether they are in the country or outside is a welcome gesture. I am also hoping this is a precursor for NRIs to vote.”