Govt allays fears, terms Aadhaar secure, totally accountable

Govt allays fears, terms Aadhaar secure, totally accountable

Information Technology and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said the Aadhaar was completely “safe, secure and robust”.

This comes even as he sought to allay the Opposition’s fears that personal details under Aadhaar can be misused.

During a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Aadhaar —  its implementation and implications — the minister said, “I want to dispel all misconceptions. Aadhaar is robust, safe, secure and totally accountable.”  “The world is appreciating it and something which is giving results needs to be respected,” he added.

Dismissing apprehensions over a possible denial of benefits of welfare schemes owing to the lack of the Aadhaar card, he said all the benefits to eligible beneficiaries will be given even if they do not have the unique identification number.

However, the beneficiary will be asked to enrol himself for the Aadhaar, the minister added. He also said so far 113 crore people have applied for the number, of which 99% are adults.

Claiming that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has taken all steps to secure personal data, the minister said the UIDAI had blacklisted over 34,000 enrolment agencies over the past six years. Of this, 1,000 agencies were blacklisted in the past one year for trying to fraudulently enrol people.

“There is no scope for double enrolment by the same person in the system,” the minister said, and added that wherever such agencies tried to hoodwink the system, action was taken.

On concerns over erasing of finger prints among aged labourers, the minister said he would instruct the UIDAI to consider updating the biometric details of such candidates.

Jairam Ramesh of the Congress said around 25% of people under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme ( MNREGS) were denied jobs and wages for not having an Aadhaar card.

Besides, a large number of people have been denied pension and other benefits for want of the card, he said. Though the previous UPA government introduced Aadhaar for inclusion, the present government is practising exclusion, Ramesh said.

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