Home Ministry will support Aadhaar scheme

Will facilitate "anytime, anywhere, anyhow" authentication to its beneficiaries

New Delhi: In a complete U-turn from its earlier stand, the Home Ministry has come out in full support of the Aadhaar scheme saying it will facilitate "anytime, anywhere, anyhow" authentication to its beneficiaries.

In a letter to all state governments, the Home Ministry said that since one Aadhaar number is allotted only to one person, it allows universal verification of one's identity. Aadhaar card also enables the deprived and needy people to access services like banking facilities. "Since Aadhaar is based on the demographic and biometric information of an individual, it eliminates the threat of any fraud and bogus activity.

"Aadhaar will provide its possessor with universal identification. (It) will facilitate 'anytime, anywhere, anyhow' authentication to its beneficiaries (and) be a single source of identity verification," it said. The ministry's stand on Aadhaar is in complete reversal of the position taken by it under two predecessors of Rajnath Singh -- Sushilkumar Shinde and P Chidambaram. During the previous UPA regime, the Home Ministry had raised concerns over the sanctity of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)'s database, saying uniqueness of identity was not a necessary condition for ensuring authenticity of identity or genuineness of other entries or records of Aadhaar numbers. The ministry had raised concerns over supporting documents submitted by people as proof of identity and proof of address for getting an Aadhaar number.

The Home Ministry's letter also said that since a correctional home has a number of inmates who might have missed the enrolment process, it would be of immense utility to offer this service to them as a welfare measure when they are released. Tihar Jail in New Delhi has also started an enrolment process and received a good response. The enrolment process is entirely voluntary and there is no compulsion involved as in 'The Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920'. Moreover, the data collected by UIDAI is not meant for use by the correctional home and is only for the provision of an Aadhaar card to enable the re-integration of the UTP or convict upon release.

Necessary documentation to aid the enrolment process may be facilitated by correctional home authorities. "It is hence suggested that the local UIDAI authorities should be approached for initiating the enrolment drive in all correctional homes and the prisoners should be briefed adequately as to the benefits of obtaining an Aadhaar card before the start of the drive to remove any misgivings about the process," the Home Ministry said. UIDAI was established in 2009 with a mandate to generate and assign UID numbers to residents of India.

Under the UID scheme, enrolment is done by registrars through enrolment agencies, and the government provides outcome-based financial assistance to them. More than 67.38 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated so far by the UIDAI since August 2010, when the first such card was generated. The total expenditure incurred by UIDAI since its inception is Rs 4,906 crore (as on August 31, 2014).

( Source : PTI )
Next Story