In U-turn, MHA bats for Aadhaar

‘It will enable anytime, anywhere authentication of beneficiaries’

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:07 pm IST

Published - October 27, 2014 12:01 am IST - New Delhi:

In a U-turn, the Union Home Ministry has come out in full support of the Aadhaar scheme, saying it will facilitate “anytime, anywhere, anyhow” authentication of beneficiaries.

In a letter to the States, the Ministry said that every person got only one Aadhaar number, universal verification of identity was made possible. The Aadhaar number enabled the deprived and the needy to access services such as banking.

“Since Aadhaar is based on the demographic and biometric information of an individual, it eliminates the threat of any fraud and bogus activity.

“Aadhaar will provide its possessor with universal identification. [It] will facilitate ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ authentication to its beneficiaries [and] be a single source of identity verification,” the letter said.

The Ministry’s stand on Aadhaar is a complete reversal of the position taken by it under two predecessors of Rajnath Singh — Sushilkumar Shinde and P. Chidambaram.

During the previous UPA regime, the Home Ministry had raised concerns over the sanctity of the Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) database, saying uniqueness of identity was not a necessary condition for ensuring authenticity of identity or genuineness of other entries or records of Aadhaar numbers.

The Ministry had raised concerns over the supporting documents submitted by people as proof of identity and proof of address for getting an Aadhaar number.

In its latest letter to the State governments, the Home Ministry said the benefits of Aadhaar were many and it could be used at multiple places to prove one’s identity very easily.

Aadhaar number could be used while opening a bank account as it met the ‘Know Your Customer’ norms of the RBI. The card could also be used for booking tickets online, applying for passport. “Aadhaar will give migrants universal mobility of identity. The government can now provide services and facilities to people, especially in rural areas, in a more effective manner.”

“As more and more government services are going to be linked to Aadhaar, it would be of utility to have an Aadhaar card. The poor can get the benefits or facilities provided by the government which could not be accessed by [them] earlier,” the Ministry said.

Aadhaar and the National Population Register (NPR) are national identity programmes of the Government of India. The former is being implemented by the UIDAI and the latter by the Registrar-General of India under the Home Ministry.

“Both collect biometric data covering 10 finger prints, iris scan of both eyes and a photograph. The identity and address of the resident are also identified during the enrolment process.” “Aadhaar provides a unique identity number to every resident in the country. The NPR database is sent to the UIDAI for Aadhaar de-duplication and generating Unique Identity [UID] numbers,” the Ministry said.

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