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National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2013 to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament

So far, about 47 crore 85 lakh Aadhaars have been issued and the enrollment process is in full swing to meet the target. Enroll for Aadhaar is done at designated centres only and appointment for the same can be obtained online at the following link https://appointments.uidai.gov.in/easearch.aspx. However, for actual enrollment process, physical presence of the resident is a must. It is also clarified that certain agencies are falsely circulating e-mails offering online registration for Aadhaar. It is stressed that UIDAI does not currently offer online enrollment.

Meanwhile, all necessary steps have been taken for introduction of the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2013 in the winter session of  Parliament likely to commence from the 1st week of the next month. The Union Cabinet has already approved the proposal submitted by the Ministry of Planning for moving official amendments to the Bill last month.

The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 3rd December. The Speaker,Lok Sabha in consultation with the Chairman, Rajya Sabha referred the Bill to e Standing Committee on Finance. The Standing Committee presented the Report to the Lok Sabha and laid it in Rajya Sabha on 13th December 2011.

In the meantime, the UIDAIhas been functioning under an executive order issued by the Government in January 2009, establishing UIDAI as an Attached Office of the Planning Commission. The Bill proposes to constitute a statutory authority to be called the National Identification Authority of India and lay down the powers and functions of the Authority, the framework for issuing Aadhaar numbers, defines offences and penalties and matters incidental thereto through an Act of Parliament.

PROVISIONS OF THE BILL

The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, inter alia, seeks to provide-

(a) for issue of Aadhaar numbers to every resident by the Authority on providing his demographic information and biometric information to it in such manner as may be specified by regulations;

(b) for authentication of the Aadhaar number of an Aadhaar number holder in relation to his biometric information and demographic information subject to such conditions and on payment of such fees as may be specified by regulations;

(c) for establishment of the National Identification Authority of India consisting of a Chairperson and two part-time Members;

(d) that the Authority to exercise powers and discharge functions which, inter alia, include-

(i) Specifying the demographic information and biometric information for enrolment for an Aadhaar number and the processes for collection and verification thereof; 1 service delivery organizations/Ministries. The Aadhaar letter clearly spells out that it is only a proof of identity and not citizenship.

b) The Committee had also, stated that pending the issuance of Aadhaar numbers was “unethical” and “violative” of Parliament prerogatives when the bill has yet to passed. The issuance of Aadhaar was based on the opinion of the Ministry of Law and Justice and the opinion of the Attorney General of India which had clearly stated that the UIDAIcan continue to function under the executive order issued by the Government and there is nothing in the law, or otherwise, which prevents the Authority from functioning under the executive authorization.

c) With respect to the concern of the Standing Committee on unauthorised access and misuse of personal information, it has been stated that UIDAI recognizes that the right to privacy must be protected and provisions have been made in the Bill for protection of information.

d) As regards the apprehension that service/benefits might be denied to individual who do not have Aadhaar, it has been clarified that Aadhaar number is an enabler, with a purpose of effective delivery and benefits by establishing identity of the resident. All schemes have some prequalification and there is no reason why possession of Aadhaar should not be one, especially if efforts are made to ensure availability of Aadhaar to all who want it. The actual requirement and the use of Aadhaar will be determined by the implementing ministries/agencies.

e) Among the procedural issues .raised by the Committee are untested and unreliable technology, global experience of identity projects, high cost, absence of study on financial implication, duplication of effort with National Population Register exercise and inability to in covering full or near full the marginalised sections. The following points may be noted in this regard:

  • UIDAI, in terms of technology has already generated more than 44 Crore Aadhaar and is currently processing over 1 million Aadhaar per day with a capacity to undertake 180 trillion biometric matches per day. This makes it the largest Database of its kind in the world.
  • Aadhaar is aimed at building a basic Identity and Verification infrastructure for welfare and inclusive growth.
  • It is important to note that the cost projections for the UIDAIproject has also been earlier approved by the Government of India for total amount of Rs 12,398.22 crore as compared to Rs. 150,000 Crore as reported in some media reports some time back. The total cumulative expenditure incurred by UIDAI,since inception ofthe Project, is Rs. 3490 Crore as on 30th Sept, 2013.
  • A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Aadhaar Project conducted by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) shows that the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), in real terms, generated by Aadhaar would be 52.85%.
  • In January 2012, it was decided with the approval of the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI, that NPR and UIDAI enrolments should proceed simultaneously,

3 a) Nationwide portability – the Aadhaar ID is valid throughout the country and is thus very convenient and useful for people moving from say rural India to urban India.

(b) On-line verification (also called as authentication) – the Aadhaar platform allows on-line verification of a person`s identity anywhere in the country by various means (Biometric – Fingerprint and Iris, demographic, and One Time Password to mobile phone or email id).  

Benefit to Government:

i) Can verify that a genuine beneficiary is claiming the benefit (at a Banking Correspondent for money or at a PDSoutlet for grain); and,

ii) Reach – can provide services in every nook and corner of the country as long as connectivity is there.

Benefit to individual:

i) Convenience – a resident can get access to services close to where they are;

ii) Mobility – a resident can access services throughout the country; and,

iii) Empowerment – since the resident has a choice of outlets for a particular service (go to any BCto withdraw money or any PDS outlet to withdraw grain), the bargaining power shifts to the resident. This also reduces corruption

(c) Electronic-Know Your Customer (e-KYC) – resident authorized provision of Government photo ID consisting of Proof of Identity (POI) and Proof of Address (POA) to an authorized agency

Benefit to Government:

i) Productivity – instant paperless provisioning of services has great impact and productivity benefit for the economy;

ii) Inclusion – can provide access to services like bank accounts and mobile connections anywhere easily; and,

iii) Audit – every KYCrequest has a unique transaction code, cannot be repudiated, and can be easily investigated.

Benefit to resident:

i) Instant access – provides instant access to services just with his Aadhaar number; and,

ii) Convenience – these services can offered anywhere there is connectivity.

(d) Aadhaar as a Financial Address – an Aadhaar-linked Bank account that can receive money just with the Aadhaar number as the address.

Tags: AadhaarGovernmentIndiaNational Identification Authority of IndiaNational Identification Authority of India BillRajya SabhaUIDAIUnique Identification Authority of India

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