The Unique Identification Authority of India on Thursday dismissed the media reports about a “goof up” where the birth date of nearly 1,000 people in Uttar Pradesh was marked January 1 when their Aadhaar cards were assigned. The UIDAI explained that it was part of the agency’s regular procedure to mark January 1 as birth dates for people who do not know when exactly they were born.

“It is clarified that many people in our country may not know their exact date of birth or may not have required birth certificates,” the UIDAI CEO said on Twitter. “In such cases, in order to facilitate Aadhaar enrolment, the person is requested to specify his/her age & the same is accepted by UIDAI. This age is converted into Year of Birth during Aadhaar enrolment. Dob in such cases is taken as 1 Jan of that year as per UIDAI policy.”

The person can, however, update the information at any Aadhaar Kendra at a later stage if the person is able to provide proof for date of birth, the UIDAI clarified.

The incident was reported from UP’s Kanjasa village. “Nearly 1,000 [of the 5,000] residents have complained about faulty entries [in their Aadhaar cards] of their date of birth,” Neeraj Dubey, Jasra Block Development Officer had told PTI. “The odd thing is that the date printed on all these cards is identical – January 1 – with variations in the years of birth. Once the inquiry is complete and accountability is fixed, suitable action will be taken against those responsible for the massive goof up.”

The directive is confusing as the Union Ministry of External Affairs had in December, 2016, said the Aadhaar card or an e-Aadhaar card would be accepted as a proof of date of birth in passport applications. It is unclear how this new policy disclosure will affect passport applications in the future.