The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016

  • by IAS Score

What are the features of Aadhar bill?

1. The Bill intends to provide for targeted delivery of subsidies and services to individuals residing in India by assigning them unique identity numbers, called Aadhaar numbers.
2. Information to be submitted: To obtain an Aadhaar number, an individual has to submit his, (i) biometric (photograph, finger print, iris scan) and (ii) demographic (name, date of birth, address) information. The Unique Identification Authority (UID) may specify other biometric and demographic information to be collected by regulations.
3. Cases when information may be revealed: In two cases, information may be revealed:
a. In the interest of national security, a Joint Secretary in the central government may issue a direction for revealing, (i) Aadhaar number and related personal information
b. On the order of a court, (i) an individual’s Aadhaar number, (ii) photograph, and (iii) demographic information, may be revealed.

Q A
What is Defence Procurement Policy? Aadhaar datatbase is required for smooth functioning of government benefit schemes

The sensitive information in the database is secure and inaccessible for any purpose other than authentication.

Why its passage has been criticised? 1. The bill was mislabelled as a money bill to avoid Rajya Sabha scrutiny

2. There is a fear that aadhaar database will be breached which affects right to privacy of citizens.

3. Government has created 2 exceptions that permit the government to access the database in two separate ways.

a. One way is if a district judge orders disclosure of information.

b. Second is, a Joint Secretary authorised by the government can direct disclosure of information “in the interests of national security”.

4. Nothing in the legislation compels any kind of public or independent oversight that may help ensure that there is no abuse of power.

5. The bill has offered citizens no guarantee of compensation or recompense if its poor choices endanger them.

Why right to privacy is so important? 1. Rights to liberty and freedom of expression cannot survive if the right to privacy is compromised.

2. It is the right to privacy that prevents the police from turning our homes inside out on a whim. It is the right to privacy that prevents, albeit fairly ineffectively, law enforcement from listening in on our phone conversations and recording them.

WORD FROM TEAM GS-SCORE –

Context

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was introduced by Minister of Finance, Mr. Arun Jaitley, in Lok Sabha on March 3, 2016. The bill was passed by the 2 houses of parliament within a week.

Relevant for Polity & governance of GS:2
For further detail refer article titled “privacy is a fundamental right” from TheHindu dated march 18, 2016