Nearly all who got Aadhaar numbers already had valid ID proofs
GN Bureau | June 3, 2015
One of the justifications for Aadhaar, the unique identity project, was to provide an authorised identification to people who did not have any. In India, a vast number of people, it is believed, do not have any ID papers, and UID would give them one, even if it would add an extra paper for many who already had one (driving licence, passport, ration card, PAN card etc).
Indeed, according to the 2010 Strategy Overview (Click here) of the UIDAI, “an inability to prove identity is one of the biggest barriers preventing the poor from accessing benefits and subsidies”.
This, however, turns out to be a dubious justification for the humongous and costly project. Replying to an RTI query, the UIDAI has said that only 2.19 lakh Aadhaar numbers (out of 83.5 crore issued so far) have been issued through the ‘introducer’ system, that is, to people who did not have any ID papers at all. [The reply attached below] For the rest of 83.4 crore-plus people, Aadhaar was not needed, not at least for the identity purpose.
[The Aadhaar enrolment process requires an applicant to submit two valid IDs, or go through the “introducer system”. In this option, an applicant without ID can enrol for an Aadhaar number through an introducer who is authorised by the registrars for this purpose.]
The RTI application was filed in April 2015 by Ujjainee Sharma and Trishna Senapaty, and the reply from the deputy director and CPIO of UIDAI came the same month.
It seems the project started out with a faulty assumption. On the other hand, of course, a large number of the poor in India, living in difficult terrain or far-flung places, are without any identity documents. But then the RTI reply indicates that they are yet to be reached out, and “one of the biggest barriers preventing the poor from accessing benefits and subsidies” is yet to be dismantled. Either way, a debate is called for.
Governance Now on Thursday bagged the REACH Media Awards for 2017-2018 for best reporting (English category) on tuberculosis (TB) at an event co-hosted by REACH, USAID and Lilly Global Health in partnership with the Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis. Our cover story
N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday parted ways from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the centre. The official quitting of the alliance was preceded by the pulling out of two ministers out of the Narendra Modi government, a week ago. The
What is Narendra Modi’s biggest electoral success during the current term as prime minister? At first blush, most would say the Uttar Pradesh victory. That would be looking at the obvious (UP is the heart of the Hindi heartland) and at mere numbers (it has the maximum Lok Sabha seats). Yes, it was a
The killing of a seven-year-old boy at Ryan International School, Gurgaon, suddenly brought focus on violence by students in school. It was a gruesome case indeed: On September 8 last year, Barun Chandra Thakur dropped his children, including seven-year-old Pradyuman, at school around 8 am. By the time he
Like our jails, our correction centres for juvenile offenders are hardly conducive to bringing about positive change. No one will dispute the fact that an underaged criminal, especially if he or she is a first-timer, needs to be given a chance to reform, however heinous the crime. Unfortunately, society&rs
Finland has emerged as the world’s happiest country, as per the World Happiness Report 2018. The report has ranked 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. This year, the main focus of the report is on migration within and between countries.