Aadhaar services appear to be down in Andhra Pradesh for the last four days following extensive news of security breaches. All Aadhaar services at Mee Seva centers appear to be suspended without any official statement. People approaching the centers are being informed that the servers are down, according to Hans India.

The New Indian Express has reported the outage as “technical glitches” but describes utter chaos that appears to have little to do with technical problems. People needing corrections in their Aadhaar card to avail essential services (in contravention of Supreme Court orders, we remind) are met with frustrations as enrolment centers are not working in the state. The New Indian Express says people are being told that they would be down for another 10 days due to upgradation – however, there is no notice from the UIDAI to this effect.

Only government centers appear to be working in the wake of enrolment centers in Guntur being reported to be creating fake Aadhaar IDs with false data. Mee Seva centers that were permitted by the state to do enrolments and corrections appear to be suspended or at least not offering services for the last several months, presumably due to agents not updating correct details.

Aadhaar services appear to be available only at Karvy centres, banks and post offices are providing Aadhaar related services, even though the UIDAI lists 696 permanent enrolment centers and banks. Some centers appear to be down due to technical glitches (unspecified) and manpower shortages.

Only one out of seven enrolment centers is working in Vijaywada and District Collector B Lakshmi Kantham says they have written to National Informatic Centre (NIC) to repair at least two units. The one functioning Karvy center sees people queuing up from dawn and can process only 100-150 enrolment/updation a day.

“Almost 80 per cent of the applications are for correction of data while only 20 per cent come for enrolments. Though there are many centres in the city, many of them are not functioning now. Due to shortage of staff, we could process only 100-150 applications a day,” a senior official with the Karvy enrolment centre told Express.

There isn’t a single working enrolment center in Tirupati.

There appears to be chaos in the Aadhaar ecosystem, even as the Union government has issued directives to the states to recruit village panchayats to enrol people without address documents and Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank is announcing the setting up of 26 enrolment centers in their branches in Andhra Pradesh (and another 50 in Telangana)

In the meanwhile, the project director for Aadhaar in Karnataka had his SIM deactivated for lack of linking with Aadhaar – after he had already linked it using OTP. Sweet schadenfreude to see the ones imposing arbitrary rules fall victim to others imposing arbitrary rules on them.

In the meanwhile the UIDAI is discussing whether the March 31,2018 deadline on linking needs to be extended (yet again). This, as several critics of the illegal imposition of Aadhaar have pointed out, is inevitable, as the UIDAI actually does not have the authority to deprive citizens of their rights over the linking of Aadhaar. At least as far as the orders of the Supreme Court protecting citizens currently stand. All the government and UIDAI can do is pretend to have the authority and employ propaganda to fool people into believing them.

In other words, the Aadhaar is unraveling.

Vidyut is a commentator on socio-political issues with a keen understanding of tech and policy. She has been observing and commenting on Aadhaar since 2010 from a perspective of human rights, democracy and technological robustness.

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