Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Aadhar: Why a voluntary scheme is being pushed through?

Delhi High Court recently challenged Delhi government's guidelines to make Aadhar mandatory for procuring a National Food Security card for citizens who are enlisted below the poverty line.
The petitioner put forward a plea citing the apex court's ruling of September 23rd 2013 last year, that said no person should be left behind while availing social welfare benefits in the absence of an Aadhar Card. The petition by Ram Kishan and others sought taking away Delhi government's guidelines which requires submission of an Aadhar card and its details by a household for getting National Food Security consumer card.
The plea filed through advocate Yogesh Kumar also aims to order the Department of Food and Public supplies to look into the petition application for food security card without Aadhar and to provide foodgrains as per the old rates and norms.
The National Food Security Act which came into being on September 12th 2013 with effect from July 5th 2013 aims to provide foodgrains to eligible households at subsidized rates through PDS system. The petition is against Delhi government's guidelines under the Act asking for Aadhar number for identifying eligible households that is those below the poverty line.
The last date of submission of the application for food security is March 15th. Earlier in the year, mandatory Aadhar linked transfer of LPG subsidy to beneficiaries accounts was suspended and the cap raised from nine to twelve.
Also to avail government benefits and services like gas connections, marriage registration,salaries and provident fund. Aadhar is not mandatory as per the September 24th 2013 ruling of the Supreme Court.
The interim order was passed in a PIL filed by KS Puttaswamy who stressed that the UID scheme was not passed as per the directives from the Parliament and without discussion in Parliament, and only by the executive ruling.

The ruling could create a blow to the government's Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme, which transfers welfare payment to the Aadhar linked bank accounts of beneficiaries. It also comes days after news reports of Nandan Nilenkani quitting UIDAI and contesting elections from South Karnataka on a Congress ticket. Although Aadhar was beneficial as an identity to people with no way, to prove citizenship the Supreme Court had said Aadhar couldn't be given to illegal migrants. Leaving in the lurch the Aadhar beneficiaries who were issued numbers without an identity or address proof.
The issuing of Aadhar numbers was giving non-citizens the benefits like cash transfers with illegal immigrants likely to be legitimized. This would make us sitting ducks to security lapses. Aadhar had always been a voluntary scheme, but the recent spate of events to bulldoze it through are making it compulsary in many ways. Recently, the Maharashtra government insisted for UID numbers for registeration of marriages. The registrar of Bombay High Court also reported to have asked for disbursement of salary to their staff. Under the DBT scheme, various pensions and scholarship payments are linked to Aadhar. By orchestrating the fiasco of making Aadhar mandatory for all essential services, the government is targetting the poor and underprivileged of the country who form a vulnerable votebank they can cash in on. By making a fool of the uneducated Indian by projecting themselves as the messiah of the poor. The government is pushing through Aadhar as a one-stop solution pestering the people cursed by poverty to fall into this multi-crore scam. By sleathily trying to thrust Aadhar on its citizens, the government is grossly misusing the powers given to it by the democracy.

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