Aadhaar, meant to be the single source of identification for Indians, is facing a lot of criticisms and risks, because of which the project is fearing its end at present. The news of present crisis and its doubtful completion came as a real shocker as many of lakhs of Indian citizens have already received their cards and the UID appointment cards are about to go online to ensure faster and seamless distribution.
‘AADHAAR’ is an initiative of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), which provides UID or Unique Identification Number to each Indian national. It is a 12-digit unique number said to be stored in centralized database and linked to the basic demographics and biometric information such as photographs, fingerprints and iris identification.
This UID or Aadhaar works as a proof of identification as well as of address. In the words of the Chairman of UIDAI, Nandan Nilekani, “UID is the number of life” for those millions of Indians who at present do not have access to public schemes. Till date, more than one 5.75 million, UID cards are issued.
Technically, as Aadhaar is entirely dependent on biometrics, there have been concerns expressed by some experts that the biometrics data is not reliable as it has shown 0.01 percent of error in fingerprints and iris alone; this low rate combined with the photograph match can achieve the massive level of uncertainty, to which the experts says this test ‘actually tells nothing’ and also that Aadhaar may achieve the power for civil autonomy and also can capture one’s solitary desecration while indulging their UID registering in non-government agencies.
In the political perception, the former CM of Kerala, V. S. Achuthanandan, including many others, claimed that this program was being launched without “proper debate”.
Hence technically, politically, economically and socially the UID project is facing many contradicting opinions. The UID initiative has an estimated cost of around 1,660 crore for the year 2010-11 and 2011-12, where more than 556 crore has already been spent on the scheme, which may not be recovered from the future revenue produced from the project. “Basically, we thought it was waste of money”, a member of the parliamentary standing committee had apparently stated. The committee members have doubted the utility purpose of the scheme and even the efficiency of the technology.
As stated by India Today, a draft report prepared by the parliamentary committee to refuse the National Identification Authority of India Bill is ready and will be revealed soon. The decision is taken communally by Parliaments standing Finance Committee and some of the Congress members, who also agree to the opinion that UID project is “directionless.”
Furthermore, it is said that the bill may not be dismissed entirely, but needs a thorough review or reconsideration but is not acceptable in its present form. Most voiced opponents against the scheme among the panel are MPs like S. S. Ahluwalia (BJP), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) and Rashid Alvi (Congress) and also by finance minister, the home ministry and the Planning Commission. The draft report mentions that the UID concept has no clarity or purpose and also lacks a concept in its context and execution.
The draft report mainly has focuses on four of UID’s major drawbacks like – insertion of “residents” rather than “citizens”; privacy issues of those being registered as the UID numbers; duplication of the work being done for preparing the national population Register (NPR) using the same biometric attributes; and the massive expenditure that the projects entails.
- UID to facilitate healthcare services: Nilekani (news.bioscholar.com)
- Now, Book your UID appointments online! (trak.in)
- How to get your UID / Aadhaar Card ? (kish.in)