Centre’s proposal to states: Enact your own Aadhaar Acts too

The central Act makes Aadhaar mandatory for any “subsidy, benefit or service” for which the expenditure is borne fully or shared partially by the Consolidated Fund of India.

Written by Ravish Tiwari | New Delhi | Published: July 16, 2017 4:48 am
aadhaar acts, State Aadhaar Act, aadhaar card, NITI Aayog, india news, aadhaar news The central Act makes Aadhaar mandatory for any “subsidy, benefit or service” for which the expenditure is borne fully or shared partially by the Consolidated Fund of India.

Even as a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court is set to hear challenges to the Aadhaar Act, the central government has floated the idea of state governments enacting their own “State Aadhaar Act”, on the lines of the central Act passed by Parliament last year.

The Centre made this suggestion at the national conference of state chief secretaries, organised by NITI Aayog last week. “Enactment of State Aadhaar Act” was one of the “interventions requested” by the Cabinet secretariat. Giving a presentation on the topic of “effective implementation of DBT (direct benefit transfer) in states”, A R Sihag, Secretary (Coordination and Public Grievances) in the Cabinet Secretariat, emphasised the issue twice. Sihag could not be reached for comment.

The central Act makes Aadhaar mandatory for any “subsidy, benefit or service” for which the expenditure is borne fully or shared partially by the Consolidated Fund of India. This means that every welfare subsidy or benefit, from fully-funded or centrally-sponsored schemes (where states share part of the fiscal burden), is conditional on verification through Aadhaar.

However, several state governments have their own subsidies or benefit schemes, where the burden is defrayed out of their Consolidated Fund. For instance, the Nitish Kumar government’s bicycle scheme for schoolgirls in Bihar and the previous Akhilesh Yadav government’s laptop scheme for students in Uttar Pradesh were funded by the state exchequer.

Consequently, the central Aadhaar Act cannot provide legal basis for making Aadhaar mandatory for such schemes. However, a State Aadhaar Act, as suggested by the Cabinet Secretariat, could provide legal basis for making it mandatory for state-funded welfare schemes too.

But the Centre’s suggestion could prove tricky as the enactment of a state legislation is the prerogative of the state legislatures. Also, it impinges on the state government’s autonomy to set up a mechanism for expenditure from the state exchequer.

In fact, the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal had got the state assembly to pass a resolution in 2014 against the central government’s decision to link Aadhaar cards with DBT schemes.

Last year, the Opposition had targeted the government for pushing the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act through the Rajya Sabha by designating it as a money bill — the Rajya Sabha cannot withhold a money bill.

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  1. R
    Reader
    Oct 10, 2017 at 9:41 am
    A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
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    1. R
      Reader
      Oct 10, 2017 at 9:40 am
      UK’s Biometric ID Database was dismantled. Why the United Kingdom's biometrics-linked National Identi-ty Card project to create a centralized register of sensitive information about residents similar to Aadhaar was scrapped in 2010?? The reasons were the massive threat posed to the privacy of people, the possibility of a surveillance state, the dangers of maintaining such a huge centralized repository of personal information, and the purposes it could be used for, and the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked. The other reasons were the unreliability of such a large-scale biometric verification processes, and the ethics of using biometric identification.
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      1. R
        Reader
        Oct 10, 2017 at 9:40 am
        The US Social Security Number (SSN) card has NO BIOMETRIC DETAILS, no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driving license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults. The US government DOES NOT collect the biometric details of its own citizens for the purpose of issuing Social Security Number. The US collects the fingerprints of only those citizens who are involved in any criminal activity (it has nothing to do with SSN), and the citizens of other countries who come to the US.
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        1. Sekhar Bhattacharya
          Jul 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm
          State govs are bent on supporting illegal actions and middlemen who loot and defraud the common man and the nation is in fact their vote bank support.
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          1. Sankaran Krishnan
            Jul 16, 2017 at 4:17 pm
            Whether one likes it or not the Centre makes it mandatory for its schemes and right from LPG to Telecom to Banks are all insisting to get endorsed by Aadhaar. Now the PF office denied Pensions for all those who are not linked the Aadhaaar whereas there was no communication to them or through media but simply stopped and once when you enquire the Bank Branch they will inform link Aadhaar and submit to the PF Office and then only PF Office will release the monthly Pension shows how perverted the Govt. Offices and how dare to stop Pension which they can do it for the middle income group but NOT to Business Persons, Celebrities who are all doing frauds and cheats and even allow them to escape to another Country over midnight and they call it proudly as Fugitives and there si ONE Country which allows to say as Country of Fugitives without any shame !!!
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            1. #
              #AADHAARFAIL
              Jul 16, 2017 at 4:28 pm
              When your fingerprint gets stolen, printed and used for aadhaar pay, cloning SIM and changing bank password using OTP, your aadhaar devotion will vanish. Jai Hind. 1. 25 lakh families in Rajasthan are unable to withdraw ration even after seeding #AADHAARFAIL with their ration card. 2. #AADHAAR authentication does not work for half billion Indians. 3. AADHAAR authentication does not work even after updating bio-metrics and waiting for 90 days 4. AADHAAR bio-metrics can be stolen, printed and used for #AADHAAR pay 5. #AADHAAR does not work for NRIs, people outside India 6. AADHAR can not be generated if a person's fingerprint matches with someone else's with 60 percentage probability. 7. Rogue government can deactivate your #AADHAAR blocking ur gas, electricity, mobile, bank account 8. AADHAAR works for millions of illegals staying in India 9. AADHAAR is blocking subsidies for millions of legitimate people 10. Take 10 lakh insurance for each #AADHAAR failure case/delete
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