The Aadhar and Adhikaar of Aam Aadmi

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Credits: Cartoonist Satish Acharya

While the Supreme Court examines the validity of the Aadhar, and the privacy invasion that will follow it, the issues that loom now around the master project are smeared with mismanagement and confusion.

The only ones who suffer are the ones in the lower social rungs. This is another aspect, while the master-hacks that were brought to light by The Tribune’s Richa Khaira, have raised serious concerns about the privacy of the Aadhar card holders who may have lost almost all of their critical information to unknown persons.

Today, the malady of the Aadhar is spreading to every corner of the nation, where a biometric identity card, which was not intended to be used as a physical identity proof, is being sought almost everywhere, from educational institutions to financial institutions.

The idea of using the Aadhar as the social security identity of the US, in India is good, no denying the fact that it breeds great statesmanship to have a vision of that magnitude, while the practical deficiencies have not been catered to and will possibly not be addressed in the immediate run.

Today, while there has been a massive data leak, there is a risk of other card-holders loosing their identities to the hands of fraudsters who may gain an access to all the valuable data of an individual who may not be able to move ahead with his life, if he is deprived of the things that an Aadhar card goes down with.

The Aadhar as a necessity, specially for financial inclusion has to be dealt with in a perspective that ensures delivery of service over denial of service. There are several people who are unable to open bank accounts because they do not have their Aadhar addresses in the districts where they want their accounts, also the services that any operator provides, is expecting to do it only with the Aadhar, and when they find the address to be different, then all that is left is a denial of service.

Today, we need aadhar for various purposes, that include delivery of subsidies, tax transparency and citizen database, which will surely make things easier, though the administrative and technical deficiencies, are not being catered to satisfactorily.

The Aadhar Act, needs certain amendments, which specify the purposes for which it is intended, while the service providers of all hues may extort the customers with their private information only on the basis of rumours.

The linking of assessee accounts with aadhar, and linking of cellphone numbers with aadhar will boost tax compliance and also promote a cyber law compliant society, but, the data that the service providers get to lay their hands on, is not a good sign. Thus the Act, which is silent on all the services that come under the aadhar, and who may access the same, need to be addressed immediately.

Hope, that UIDAI and the Indian Government soon create a plan to putĀ  the fallacies in line with a vision of the future also, over shallow populism, which comes with policy demeanours.

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