AFTER AADHAAR numbers of beneficiaries of at least three different government services appeared on the websites of their respective departments in the last three days, two more such incidents emerged on Tuesday.
In the first, Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), which is under the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, were available on its website.
In the second such case, the Department of Social Justice Justice and Empowerment of the Gujarat government had at least two documents with names, addresses and Aadhaar numbers of hundreds, if not thousands, of students that can be viewed publicly on the department’s website.
In the case of PMAY, putting in any random number in the “By Other ID” search option on its website brings up many beneficiaries along with their name, father’s name, city of residence, age, caste and Aadhaar numbers.
Even photographs of some of the beneficiaries are published next to their Aadhaar numbers.
In Gujarat, a list of 32,979 students who had received scholarship under the Post-Matric Scholarship for Minority Communities in 2013-14, and a list of 2,607 students who received Merit-cum-Means Scholarship for the same year are easily accessible on the Social Justice Department’s website.
In both these lists, Aadhaar numbers of many students, although not all, are mentioned along with their name, address, mobile phone number, parents’ names, bank account details and the institutions where they study.
In the last three days, Aadhaar numbers of PDS beneficiaries in Chandigarh, Provident Fund beneficiaries of Swachh Bharat Mission under the Water and Sanitation Ministry, and of lakhs of pensioners paid by the Jharkhand government had appeared on websites of their respective departments.
According to reports in other media and on Twitter, at least nine cases have come to light in April alone in which Aadhaar data appeared in public on websites of different government authorities across the country. These government agencies include the Punjab Minority Welfare Department, Bihar Minority Welfare Department, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Telangana Backward Classes Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society, Kerala Scholarship Egrantz, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, and Kerala Sevana Pension Site.
Aadhaar data on websites of some of these departments continue to exist even after the leaks have been reported.
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