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Parliament Gives Green Signal to Aadhaar Bill

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday has passed the much awaited Aadhaar Bill (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) 2016 with a clear agenda of providing subsidies through the Aadhar unique identity number.

  • The Aadhaar Bill is aimed at actively provide unique identity number to residents and a solid ground to the government to create a provision to ensure that all government subsidies and other beneficial services reach directly and entirely to the beneficiaries.
  • The Bill basically aims to empower the government and help them to provide targeted services to eligible beneficiaries through unique identity numbers named Aadhaar. This will also be given to every individual who has stayed in the country for 182 days in the year before the date of application.
  • An individual can get an Aadhaar number by providing details including 1) biometric information (photograph, finger print, iris scan) and 2) demographic information (name, date of birth, address). The Aadhaar number will be used as a verification number to identify an individual who is availing subsidy or service. If a citizen does not have an Aadhaar number, the government will urge them to apply or the person will be provided with alternative ways for identification. Also, an individual can use this number as an identity proof. Although this number is not a proof of citizenship.
  • The amendments to the Bill included the first one which thereby sought to prevent any kind of disclosing of “biometric or demographic information” in the line of interest of “national security”. It was also suggested to replace “national security” with “public emergency”.
  • Another amendment has been done on allowing individuals with Aadhaar number to let them opt out of the system as the Central Identities Data Repository will delete all important records of information and authentication. Also it will provide certificates to individuals to that effect within 15 days.
  • A third amendment has been instigated on providing alternative identification for delivery of services, subsidies and benefits to those people who don’t want to apply for an Aadhaar number. The fourth amendment revealed of including the Central Vigilance Commissioner or the Comptroller and Auditor-General in the Oversight Committee. The fifth amendment was about deleting the clause that allows the usage of Aadhaar number for purposes other than those mentioned in the Bill.

(Source: The Hindu)

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