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Amend laws, seed Aadhaar with mobile, bank accounts: Cabinet

According to senior government officers, Aadhaar will not be the only form of authentication, however, and people will be free to use any other valid identity document for these two services.

Written by Krishn Kaushik | New Delhi |
Updated: December 18, 2018 7:25:32 am
Aadhaar amendments, Aadhaar card, Aadhaar bank accounts, Telegraph Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, UIDAI, Indian express The authenticating entity, sources said, will have to “take care of the privacy and security” of data. (Express photo: Abhinav Saha)

The Cabinet Monday approved amendments to allow Aadhaar-based authentications for mobile SIM cards and bank accounts under the Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, respectively, it is learnt.

According to senior government officers, Aadhaar will not be the only form of authentication, however, and people will be free to use any other valid identity document for these two services.

The authenticating entity, sources said, will have to “take care of the privacy and security” of data. The approved amendments will also have the provision for children to exit Aadhaar when they turn adult — until they are 18, parents will provide consent on behalf of the children.

The other major change will let Aadhaar to be sought in “state interest”, sources indicated. This will be “notified by the Government of India in consultation with the authority” — or the UIDAI — they said.

Opinion: Draft data protection bill has lost sight of the intricacies of digital identity.

The changes were made necessary after a seven-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court in September ruled that Aadhaar cannot be sought by private entities, and can only be made mandatory for services and subsidies funded through the Consolidated Fund of India as per Section 7 of Aadhaar Act. Under the amendments, the government has also proposed an imprisonment of up to 10 years for attempting to hack Aadhaar data. Currently, the punishment for this is three years.

Other decisions

The Cabinet also expanded the scope of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to make it universal for all economically poor households, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said.

Under the policy, these households, not considered earlier because names of beneficiaries were not covered either in Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) list or seven other identified categories, will now be eligible for free LPG connection, Pradhan said.

It was also announced that two new AIIMS will be set up – one each in Tamil Nadu and Telangana. The institute in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, will be built at a cost of Rs 1,264 crore and the one in Bibinagar, Telangana, will cost Rs 1,028 crore, the government said in a statement.

Each new AIIMS will add 100 undergraduate MBBS seats and 60 BSc (nursing) seats, along with 15-20 super specialty departments. “Each new AIIMS will add around 750 hospital beds. As per data of current functional AIIMS, it is expected that each new AIIMS would cater to around 1,500 OPD patients per day and around 1,000 IPD patients per month,” Union Health Minister J P Nadda said.

The Cabinet also approved building 462 additional Eklavya Model Residential Schools at a cost of Rs 2,242.03 crore in every block with at least 50 per cent population of Scheduled Tribes and a minimum of 20,000 people from tribal communities. It was announced that 102 blocks already have such schools.

President rule Approved for J&K

New Delhi: With the six-month term of Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir ending on December 19, the Union Cabinet on Monday approved imposition of President’s rule in the state. Sources said the Cabinet approved the move on J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s recommendation. Malik’s report with the suggestion was sent to the Home Ministry, which was forwarded to the Union Cabinet. Under J&K’s separate constitution, six months after Governor’s rule the Assembly is dissolved, President’s rule is imposed, and elections have to be conducted. The House was dissolved on November 21.  —ENS

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