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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Aadhaar ‘voluntary’, but govt agencies say it’s mandatory

 Whether you are seeking government subsidy or not, both the central and state governments are arm-twisting citizens into obtaining an Aadhaar card. This, despite the fact that a Bill making Aadhar a statutory requirement is still pending before Parliament. 

    Further, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan himself has confessed the state's inability to provide every resident of Maharashtra a Unique Identification (UID) number or Aadhaar card by December-end. "We will be able to achieve only around 90% to 95%,'' he said. 
    V Raghavan (name changed on request), a high-level executive with a market research firm, said he along with his wife have "somehow'' manag
ed to register for an Aadhaar card as he needs to submit it before April-end. Legislators have been raising objections in the ongoing legislative session, pointing out that there are not enough centres to register for an Aadhar card and those who have registered have not been informed about their status for as long as three months. 
DEMANDS RISE 
Submit a photocopy of the Aadhaar card by April-end, or else Provident Fund will not be deposited, corporates are telling their employees 
Submit a photocopy of Aadhaar card with the local LPG dealer or forego the subsidy 
Ensure every school child has an Aadhaar card by Mayend or no salary, state tells govt and private aided schools 
Parents whose wards study in private schools have been told to submit a photocopy of the Aadhaar card by July-end 
Photocopy of Aadhaar card must for opening a savings a/c 
Aadhaar: Many worried about privacy 
    Unmindful of the chief minister himself telling the legislature that it is the Centre's directive that unless a district has 80% registration, providing subsidies through Aadhaar cannot be undertaken, citizens are being coerced into getting a UID number. 
    "When we informed the school principal that Parliament is yet to pass the Bill, she categorically told us that there was no harm in 
obtaining the card. The deadline is July-end,'' said Maya Nair (name changed). Nair's child studies in an ICSE school in the suburbs. J S Saharia, additional chief secretary in charge of school education, said while no child will be denied admission for not having an Aadhaar card, the department has informed all government and aided schools that teacher's salaries will not be paid if every child does not have an Aadhaar card by Mayend. "Since we are providing funds we want to know exactly how many children are there in school,'' he said. 
    Sources in the oil marketing companies said they are being compelled by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to fast-track the implementation of Aadhaar. "We have sought clarification from the ministry as we have received objections from consumers,'' said sources. 
    Several Mumbaikars are miffed with the government forcing them to get an Aadhaar card. "I have serious objections to the Aadhaar card as I believe it will infringe on my privacy, providing access to every piece of information about me. Since I do not want government subsidies why should I be coerced into getting an Aadhaar card? It is akin to creating a police 
state,'' said Snehal Shah, a stock investor. 
    Janhit Manch, which has complained to the Centre on the forceful implementation of Aadhaar, said the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), with its vast implications, is not controlled by any legislation. "There is no statute to control how this informa
tion can be used or by whom and under what conditions. There is no law, and no parliamentary or judicial supervision. What is the remedy to a citizen who finds his info has been misused? The scheme, though said to be 'voluntary', is becoming compulsory due to such directives,'' said Utsal Karani, secretary, Janhit Manch. 
NUMBER MUNCHERS 

31cr 
People who have registered in India out of 
120 crore 
population 
88lakh 
People in Mumbai, out of 1.2 crore, have enrolled 

WHAT THE SCHEME IS ALL ABOUT 
    
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is providing Indian residents a unique 12-digit identification number that will have multiple purposes 
    The scheme was formally launched by the United Progressive Alliance government in Tembhli village, Nandurbar district, in Maharashtra 
    To receive the unique ID number, a person must be a resident of India 
    The state government has issued a list of documents that can be produced for proof of identity 
and residence 
The UID will collect only biometric and demographic information about an individual and will not ask for information on caste, religion or language 
Residents will be photographed, their fingerprints taken and irises scanned. 
Aadhaar numbers will be issued within a month 
HELP AT HAND 
Tollfree No | 18001801947 
Email | help@uidai.gov.in 
Snail mail | PO Box 1947, GPO Bangalore 560001 
Fax | 080-23531947


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