UIDAI on a roll as Aadhaar gets Modi government's nod

Decision taken at high-level meet with PM, Rajnath, Jaitley and top officials; UIDAI set to continue to report to planning commission and, eventually, to PM

pratap

Pratap Vikram Singh | July 5, 2014 | New Delhi




Going against speculation that he would do away with UPA’s ambitious UID project, prime minister Narendra Modi has decided to continue with the Aadhaar scheme and its usage in direct transfer of fuel subsidy and social security payments.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the prime minister on Saturday, Governance Now has learnt.

Senior cabinet ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, minister of state for planning, statistics and programme implementation Rao Inderjit Singh, home and planning commission secretaries and mission director of unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) were present at the meeting.

Governance Now had reported on July 3 that money has been allocated for UIDAI in the budget, to be presented on July 10, and that the Aadhaar scheme would continue to operate (read UPA's pet UIDAI set to get Rs 2,000 cr in Modi budget).

According to two senior government officials working with different ministries who are familiar with developments in today’s meeting, said UIDAI will continue to report to the planning commission and, eventually, to the prime minister. Of late, there have been reports, most of them quoting anonymous officials in the home ministry, that the national population register (NPR) will soon overtake the UIDAI database and also the enrollment.  

Reports also indicated that UIDAI, at best, would be merged with NPR, if not scrapped altogether.

But one of the officials said that a merger was never being mulled between UIDAI, which completed its target of 60 crore enrolment before time, and NPR, which could not cover beyond 10 crore. “How can a highly efficient system be merged with an inefficient system,” he asked.

The two officials said that Modi, in today’s meeting, has agreed that UIDAI would enroll another 30 crore people in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. These states were supposed to be covered by the NPR but were given to UIDAI due to slower pace of enrollment.

Taking back the responsibility of enrollment in these four states from the authority was also among the demands made by the home ministry, according to some media reports. 

Apparently, no UIDAI representative was called in inter-ministerial meetings after formation of the new government. This was UIDAI’s first presentation to the prime minister.

According to sources, there is also an agreement on introducing the pending national identification authority of India bill in parliament. The officials, however, are not clear whether it would be done in the budget session, beginning Monday.

The Congress-led UPA government had made Aadhaar mandatory for transfer of fuel subsidy to consumers, with intent to eliminate ghost LPG cylinder connections and control its diversion to open market. A UIDAI official said the countrywide DBTL (direct benefit transfer of LPG cylinder) rollout could lead to savings of Rs12,000 crore, if one were to extrapolate the figures for savings accrued in 100 districts where it was aggressively implemented early this year.

“No government will be foolish to scrap the most efficient model of distributing subsidy,” the UIDAI official said, referring to the possible gains of using Aadhaar in service delivery.

Earlier, Governance Now had reported that the government has approved a budget of Rs 2,000-crore for UIDAI for this financial year. Without giving out the exact figure earmarked for UIDAI in the budget, to be presented by Arun Jaitley on July 10, the official told Governance Now that “funds are not going to be an issue any longer”. He added that the Modi government has approved of all existing operations.

Comments

 

Other News

Who were braver – the British Indian Army or the INA soldiers?

THE VANISHING OF SUBHASH BOSE: THE MYSTERY UNLOCKED By Rajesh Talwar Kapaz Publications, 209 pages, Rs 250 The fate of Subhash Chandra Bose has long been an enigma. Now that the government has declassified the papers relating to his mysterious disappearan

Covid-19: Detailed guidelines issued for markets

During the festive season, the marketplaces attracted large crowds and thus emerged as the key sources of infection spread. Taking note of the phenomenon, the health ministry on Wednesday issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the preventive and precautionary measures to be followed to contain the

Serving a Digital-first India eBook acknowledges the digital empowerment of rural India

Over the last few years; technology has been a great enabler for rural development. Rural economies have been a driving force in the country’s progress, contributing more than 46 percent to the national income. The government of India’s Digital India programme was instituted to t

The NPA monster and its resolutions

In India’s banking system, non-performing asset (NPA) has been a very serious issue. Some or the other bank is regularly going out of or coming in to the RBI moratorium; the very recent example is Laxmi Vilas Bank and earlier examples are PMC Bank and Yes Bank. Such incidences shake up

Covid-19: Sustained shedding of active caseload continues

The post-Diwali spike in the Covid-19 infection in India is subsiding, with the number coming down by the day along with more recoveries, resulting in a reducing caseload. In the 24 hours to Monday morning, 38,772 persons were found to be infected with Covid-19, while 45,333 patients recove

PM interacts with three vaccine teams

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday had virtual meetings with three teams working on developing and manufacturing vaccine for COVID-19. These teams are from Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, Pune, Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad and Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd, Hyderabad. The PM appreciated th

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter