Aadhaar in Ayushman Bharat 'not must', clarifies Govt


New Delhi, Dismissing media reports that Aadhaar Card would be “must” to avail benefits under the Ayushman Bharat, the Centre on Thursday clarified that Aadhaar was 'desirable' and 'not must'. The Health Ministry in a statement said, "In order to authenticate the identity of beneficiaries accurately, the use of Aadhaar card is preferable, but it is not a must. There shall be no denial of benefit for want of Aadhaar number". Health Minister J P Nadda confirmed that “We will provide services to all eligible beneficiaries with or without Aadhaar Cards.” According to the statement, the draft notification also provides for exception handling mechanism, viz production of alternate identification mechanisms such as ration card, voter ID card, MGNREGA card and others (as mentioned in the notification) in case the beneficiary does not have an Aadhaar No. Furthermore, it also makes the implementation agencies accountable for setting up of Aadhaar enrollment centres for the beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, at convenient locations. ABNHPM guidelines on beneficiary identification very clearly state that beneficiaries can bring Aadhaar or any other valid government id(s) decided by the state if they do not have an Aadhaar. English daily The Hindu, on Wednesday published a report which said "government has mandated the use of Aadhaar card for administering its massive Ayushman Bharat, or National Health Mission, that assures a Rs five lakh health cover to 10 crore families.'