I wrote about the unexpected cancellation of my Aadhaar id. I got it activated again.
I tried contacting the customer care number of UIDAI to enquire about the issue. They had no clue, and kept on giving template answers. I used the complaint mechanism in UIDAI website, which is same as their call center. I tried UIDAI twitter direct message. But none helped. All kept saying that a new aadhaar id is generated for me and can be downloaded. As I wrote in my previous blog post, downloading newly generated aadhaar was also not working. I was sure that something wierd happened to my records in UIDAI system and none of the above support mechanisms can ever help me.
So, I decided to write to the chief architect of Aadhaar project — Mr. Pramod K Varma. During the early days of Aadhaar project, in 2010, we had discussed using some of my free software language processing libraries for Aadhaar and I used that aquintanceship. Pramod thankfully offered help and traced the issue.
It was indeed a bug in UIDAI system, something related to iris device driver according to him. He told me that he had asked the team to do root cause analysis and prevent the issue in future.
I got my cancelled id activated again.
That is a relief, but it immediately raises many concerns about the system. I am just one person who got affected and was lucky to get a personal help from UIDAI architect. How about many such people out there who just got excluded from the system, subsidies, benefits, pensions etc? I don’t know how many affected. I told Pramod about this. Good to know that they are now aware of the issue and working on it. I wish if their call centers were smart enough to identify these issues.
PS: My mobile/email update that apparently triggered the bug, is rejected. I need to update it again by visiting an enrollment center.