The Case Of Aadhar

The origin of Aadhar dates back to the year 1999, post-Kargil war times when the head of security analysis, Mr. K. Subrahmanyam, wanted to assess the sense of security situation among the citizens of India.
The first prominent step in the inception of Aadhar was taken in January-2009 by the GoI (UPA-II tenure) under the Prime Ministership of Dr.Manmohan Singh with the formation of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India); and by Mr Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of tech giant Infosys materializes, headed the statutory authority under the ambiance of Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology. It was, only in March-2016 when Aadhar act took its shape, passed in the Lok Sabha as a money bill to give legislative backing to the former and started to broaden its horizons.
The rationale, given in introduction of the world’s largest bio-metric digital record base by the GoI, was to reach up to the common masses specifically to the people dwelling in the remote areas to fulfil the aim of financial inclusion.
There were numerous schemes and benefits articulated by the GoI to increase the Aadhar-intrusion to the biggest extent possible vis a vis the introduction of AEPS (Aadhar Enabled Payment Sysytem) where individual can perform all the typical banking transactions viz. balance check, deposit, cash withdraw and aadhar-to-aadhar fund transfer in a hassle free manner.
This was introduced to ease the functioning of the Banking Correspondent's to reach into the rural masses and enlighten them with the literature of financial inclusion and the benefits in an easy manner.
Another initiative in the same lines was taken by the SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank Of India) to ease the business ventures undertaken by the MSME (Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises) by introducing the digitally motivated platform of Udyog Aadhar under which the MSME will self-certify its existence, bank account, owners Aadhar details and other basic information.
Based on the same the MSMEs can be issued, a unique identifier (i.e the Udyog Aadhar Number), which can be used to leverage all the benefits enlisted by the respective ministries and departments under the GoI with ease.
Now the big question to ponder upon is what went wrong that the Apex court had to intervene and make amendments to the Aadhar Act when everything was adequately going well.
On 26th September, 2018 the Hon’ble Supreme court of India under the supervision of the 5-judges constitutional bench struck down the Section 47, Section 57 of the Aadhar Act 2009 which allows the private entities like telecom to leverage the data collected by UIDAI. The moves come under the issue of data leakage instances observed globally.
SC also passed the amendments noting that it will henceforth not mandatory for an individual to link the bank accounts and mobile number with Aadhar respectively however it is still the prerogative of an individual to held the link between PAN (permanent account number) and Aadhar.
The semantic of the state of Aadhar can only be taken by being cognizant of the main objective of the same rather than glorifying or criticizing the functionalities.
The SWOT analysis should be given impetus to assess how far the objectives have materialized yet and the identification of the focus areas.
Writer is alumni of IIT BOMBAY
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