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Q. Legal validity to Aadhar Project (Unique Identity Card) is boon or bane? Discuss with reference to various issues associated with it.
Mar 21, 2016 Related to : GS Paper : 2

Ans :

Introduction -

Aadhar is central governments project to collect biometric and demographic data and to issue unique identification number which in turn helps in targeted delivery of services and benefits to citizens.


Means-End Dilemma -


The present NDA government introduced the Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 as a money bill and the bill has been passed by Loksabha in its original form by ignoring the amendments suggested by Rajyasabha (Note- According to article 110, Rajyasabha doesn’t have equal power that of Loksabha w.r.t Money bill). Though validity of Aadhar bill as a money bill is a debatable issue, governments’ action to bypass Rajyasabha summarily came under sharp criticism. Giving legal validity to Aadhar project which seeks to provide unique identification number for its targeted delivery of services and benefits is an important achievement, but the means adopted for this is not a good sign in a parliamentary democracy.

Apprehension about violation of Right to privacy -

While discussing the bill, upper-house raised many apprehensions about its impact on right to privacy. Many argue that there are not enough checks to secure citizens data from miss-use. Though it has provisions to deal with data protection, but those can be breached in exception cases like national security. Also India not sufficiently equipped with cyber security threats, so it can be easily misused. Hence government should look into these issues and must ensure sufficient safety mechanism to protect citizens’ right to privacy.


Voluntary or Mandatory?


Though government says that Aadhar is voluntary, but according to bill it is necessary to obtain certain benefits and services. Also it can be used to establish identity of an individual. Rajyasabha in its amendments suggested that it should not be made mandatory, even apex court in its earlier direction prevented government for making it mandatory in service delivery Hence government must keep it as voluntary till the many issues associated with Aadhar are solved.


Conclusion-


In a democracy means are as important as ends. Though very well intended bill to improve the targeted delivery of services and benefits, but it would have dealt more cautiously with respect to amendments suggested by Rajyasabha about popularly voiced privacy concerns within the ambit of legislation.


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