Aadhaar now a reality-All you need to know about the bill | SoOLEGAL
Abhey Narula 30 Sep 2016

Aadhaar now a reality-All you need to know about the bill | SoOLEGAL

Being in the pipeline for quite some time, the government finally notified all the provisions of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsides, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 on 14 September.

Through this, it received legislative backing and finally became a law which will be in operation with regards to the government offering social benefit schemes including subsidies, public distribution system etc. on the basis of a mandatory holding of the Aadhaar card.

Through this step, the government has given a stamp of approval to the 12-digit unique identification number provided under Aadhaar as a result of which millions of people who are registered will now be able to exercise their right and avail govt’s social benefit schemes.

Speaking of exercise of a persons’ right, one issue that still remains undecided under the upcoming Aadhaar regime, is that of privacy.

How will the govt ensure safeguarding of an individual’s personal details with the govt under the Aadhaar database and would it amount to violation of fundamental right to privacy or not is yet a challenge to be addressed before the Supreme Court.

There are also questions surrounding the mandatory nature of Aadhaar which would disadvantage those who are not enrolled under the twelve digit identification number or those who do not wish to enroll themselves due to fear of loss of privacy due to sharing personal information with the govt.

Before the Act was notified, the Supreme Court had restricted the mandatory use of Aadhaar to a few schemes and services such as the public distribution system, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), however, with the Act being notified it would now become compulsory for availing all benefits. Some of the other services that would form part of the Aadhaar package include healthcare services, scholarships, mutual funds, income tax returns etc.

Based on the mounting number of Aadhaar card registrations in the country, the central government’s vision for a digital India seems to be on track.

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