Did Aadhaar help weed out nearly 4 crore fake ration cards? RTI activist contests Govt’s claim

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi had told the House that since the Centre started using "technology" and "Aadhaar" in the last two-and-half years, it had managed to weed out some 4 crore fake ration cards.

By: Express News Service | Updated: August 8, 2017 10:14 pm
Aadhaar, Aadhaar mandatory, Aadhaar mandatory for registration of death, Aadhaar-death registration, Aadhaar Act, India news, Indian express Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the last session of Parliament, on February 7, made a statement that 3.95 crore “fake ration cards” have been detected “by the use of technology and the use of Aadhaar”.

Activists for food security and transparency on Tuesday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in Lok Sabha in February that nearly 4 crore fake ration cards were deleted in the last two-and-a-half years with the help of technology and Aadhaar.

The activists said that there is no evidence to back the Prime Minister’s claim, as neither is the information available publicly, nor were the relevant authorities able to provide it under the Right to Information.

Modi had told the House that since the Centre started using “technology” and “Aadhaar” in the last two-and-half years, it had managed to weed out some 4 crore fake ration cards.

Anjali Bhardwaj, economist and anti-corruption and transparency activist, filed an RTI request with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking state-wise break-up of 4 crore ration cards that were found fake, as Modi had stated. The PMO forwarded this to the Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD), which claimed that the state-wise list is available on the department’s website and forwarded the request for details to each state, she said.

But what the DFPD website has, Bhardwaj said, is the total number of ration cards that have been deleted since 2006. The list was updated on February 16, 2016. The total number of “bogus/ineligible” ration cards deleted during this period was 626.82 lakh. The figure pertains to a decade, rather than the two-and-a-half-period mentioned by Modi, and predates Aadhaar, Bhardwaj said.

Modi had told the House that due to cancelled ration cards in the previous two-and-half years, Rs 14,000 crore meant for the poor but consumed by the middlemen is now back into the mainstream and sent to the poor.

Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan said at the press conference that after Rajasthan made Aadhaar’s biometric authentication mandatory for getting ration since September 2016, at least 1 crore people are losing their entitled ration (from PDS) regularly.

Using the state government’s data, Dey said that during its best month the government was only able to authenticate a maximum of 75 per cent of households who get rations, leaving out about 25 lakh families, or approximately 1 crore people, without rations. In July 2017, the activists claimed 33 per cent of the families could not complete a biometric authentication for their rations.

 

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  1. Denn Hee
    Aug 24, 2017 at 10:17 am
    Mr Dey says 25 percent of the people couldn't get the ration because they COULD NOT complete the biometric authentication. Whose fault is that governments or is the ignorance of the people. Is high time on people stop acting novice.
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    1. R
      Reader
      Aug 8, 2017 at 9:26 pm
      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 sensitive 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
        Aug 8, 2017 at 9:25 pm
        The privacy laws of the United States deal with several different legal concepts. One is the invasion of privacy, a tort based in common law allowing an aggrieved party to bring a lawsuit against an individual who unlawfully intrudes into his or her private affairs, discloses his or her private information, publicizes him or her in a false light, or appropriates his or her name for personal gain. The essence of the law derives from a right to privacy, defined broadly as "the right to be let alone."
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        1. R
          Reader
          Aug 8, 2017 at 9:25 pm
          The US Social Security Number 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 driver's license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults.
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