This article is written by Divya Patel, a student in BALLB’s 2nd year studying at Lovely Professional University. This article discusses the Aadhaar Act, of 2016.
“Mera Aadhaar Meri Pehchaan” On March 11, 2016, the Parliament passed the Aadhaar Act 2016, to provide a seamless transfer of benefits and various management of welfare programmes, as well as provide legal support to the Aadhaar project. It seeks to cater to the targeted allocation of incentives directly to beneficiaries, thereby mitigating unfair advantages by intermediaries and streamlining government-aided benefits and services. It was implemented as well to protect and safeguard the sensitive personally identifiable data of the Aadhaar number holder.
- The Aadhaar Act of 2016 the aim to provide people with welfare
- Every person has a distinct Aadhaar
- It can be used to verify identity to establish bank accounts, as well as to eliminate fake identities under different government schemes.
- It also improves the efficiency of welfare programmes such as government Pensions can be received online using an Aadhaar ID.
- Because Aadhaar is linked to voter identification, people cannot use numerous voter IDs to vote in the same election.
Every Indian ‘resident’ who has lived in India for a total time of 182 days or more in the twelve months before applying for an Aadhaar card is eligible for one. This implies that NRIs or foreign nationals who meet these criteria can also apply for an Aadhaar Card. To complete the application at the time of enrolment, the individual will be needed to provide basic Biometric details such as a photo, fingerprint, and iris scan. Aadhaar data does not provide evidence of citizenship or residency. Nonetheless, the Aadhaar ID number functions as identification.
Penalties for Offences:
A requesting organization, enrolling agency, or private entity that violates the rules may face a criminal penalty of up to three years in jail and a fine of up to Rs.10,000 or Rs.1 lakh, or both. A judge may inflict up to three years in prison and a minimum penalty of Rs.10 lakh for unapproved or unauthorised access to the central database, including disclosing any data contained therein.
Unique Identification Authority of India Aadhaar:
The government established the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to assign this unique identifier. The UIDAI’s objective is to validate an individual’s identity and issue a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number. UIDAI is comprised of a chairperson, two part-time members, and the CEO, who will be appointed as Member Secretary of the Authority by the Central Government. UIDAI is in charge of gathering demographic and biometric information from residents, storing it in a central database, and allocating a 12-digit random number to Indian citizens known as an Aadhaar Number.
The UIDAI’s Central Identities Data Repository will validate the centralised database and the data provided. The government is making every effort to ensure the programme’s success.
UIDAI has a significant task ahead of it. The Central Identities Data Repository of UIDAI was established to safeguard citizens from fraud and other malpractices. It has risen to the fore in terms of giving an identity method to the people of India.
Social impact of the Aadhaar card:
Aadhaar, India’s ambitious biometric identification document project, was portrayed as enhancing India’s welfare efforts by encouraging inclusion and reducing corruption. It used to be a voluntary ID, but it is now de facto required for most welfare schemes. Despite early warnings about its limited role in achieving its stated goals, succeeding governments have increased their use of it. A review of the effect of Aadhaar on welfare programmes is presented using a range of sources. It has been discovered that, instead of being inclusive and reducing corruption, Aadhaar is becoming a weapon of exclusion. The government’s estimates of savings do not hold up under scrutiny, and what is referred to as savings is frequently the product of a denial of legal entitlements. In its present state, the Aadhaar project undermines the right to life.
Conclusion and Suggestions:
The Aadhaar Act of 2016 promotes better administration and the efficient, transparent, and targeted supply of financial assistance, benefits, subsidies, and services to Indian citizens. It allows the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to assign a 12-digit random number to each Indian resident. It is performed only once after the necessary verification steps, which include registering fingerprints or biometric data, has been completed.
According to some experts, this conduct violated the fundamentals of privacy. However, the government has made some important provisions for protecting citizens’ data and information. For example, before using the information, the agency in charge of enrollment must obtain consent from the person. If the person refuses to give consent, the UIDAI will take special precautions to ensure that the number is only used for legal reasons. The Aadhaar card provides all relevant information about a person to different entities. The Aadhaar programme will map a person’s land and property purchases, train travel, banking services, subsidy benefits, and instant services based on Aadhaar authentication. Furthermore, it will lay the groundwork for effective and efficient administration.