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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Q. Apex court on Aadhaar and future reforms: In the backdrop of recent observation by judiary, comment on future of Aadhar.
Mar 31, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

Recently Supreme Court has observed that the government is free to press for Aadhaar for non-welfare transactions or activities, but it reiterated its earlier position that no beneficiary of a welfare scheme shall be denied benefits due to her for want of an Aadhaar number. Though court order does not amount to a judicial order, but it dispels some of the ambiguity relating to the scope, even future, of Aadhaar.

Background-

The apex court in its interim order in 2015 made it clear that the Aadhaar scheme cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by it one way or the other.

Its impact-

  • The court observation is considered as significant, because it can alter the narrative and potential scope of the ambitious unique identification programme. 
  • It has set the stage for the 12-digit Unique Identification (UID) numbers being used as the basic identity proof for all residents.
  • As court observed that government is free to press for for Aadhaar for non-welfare transactions or activities, which includes filing income tax returns, opening bank accounts or getting a mobile phone connection. 
  • It assumes significance as the government announced few such changes over the past week itself with respect use of Aadhaar as mandatory identity proof for few activities and transactions.
  • First, it included amendments to the Finance Bill of 2017, now approved by the Lok Sabha, making Aadhaar mandatory for all applications for PAN cards and filing of income tax returns.
  • Similarly following demonetisation, the Income Tax Department had already asked banks to ensure that all savings bank accounts are seeded with PAN details by the end of February.
  • Also recently the Department of Telecommunications directed all telecom service providers to re-verify the credentials of their nearly 100 crore subscribers through an Aadhaar-based, electronically authenticated Know Your Customer process within a year.
  • Similarly the biometrics captured under the Aadhaar enrolment process will ensure no individual can hold more than one PAN card to evade tax dues. 
  • The recent observation by the apex court, which gives free hand for government in making Aadhaar as mandatory for any programmes except social benefit schemes, has high potential in efficient utilisation of Aadhaar in various government schemes.

Conclusion-

The recent Supreme Court observation on Aadhaar is significant for the efficient utilisation of in various activities and transaction. Aadhaar, an ambitious unique identification programme which intended to target better distribution of government benefits and to curb black money and tax evasions now assumes significant importance. Though court restrained the government in making Aadhar as mandatory in social benefit schemes, but allowed government in non social benefit activities is one of the important step in bring key reforms in India.        


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