Memo to Sonia Gandhi : Cash transfer may not get you a win in 2014


English: Sonia Gandhi, Indian politician, pres...

 

by R Jagannathan May 30, 2013, First Post
#Cash transfers #DCT #Espirito Santo #HowThisWorks #Politics #Sonia Gandhi #Subsidies
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The Congress party has set great store by the direct cash transfers (DCT) scheme, which it has relabelled as direct benefits transfer (DBT), and which it further hopes will result in a direct votes transfer (DVT) scheme and a game-changer in the next elections.
The Rs 64,000-thousand-crore question is: Will it work? Will it deliver the benefits as envisaged? And, more importantly from the Congress party’s point of view, will it deliver the votes?
The short answers are: maybe not, maybe not, and a definite no to the above three questions, in that order.
Memo to Sonia: get reforms going, get growth going.
DCT’s rollout has been patchy so far and the linkage between bank accounts and Aadhaar number seeding is still not 100 percent even in the 43 districts that were the initial targets for small schemes such as scholarships, pensions, et al.
The chances of high success in the big-ticket game-changer schemes like MGNREGA, LPG subsidies and ultimately food and fertiliser subsidies are very limited till 2014. Voters may at best get a glimpse of the promise of the scheme, but any glitches may also get magnified. One could neutralise the other.
The chances of garnering votes is thus limited, since DCT needs at least three to four years to implement properly on a national scale – but this is precisely where the Congress seems to be in too much of a hurry, and hence not paying enough attention to detail.
These are the broad conclusions of a detailed research report on DCT by Espirito Santo Securities (ESS) which discussed the issue with policy-makers, economists, and did some pilot studies where the scheme is being implemented (especially East Godavari district in Andhra).
This is ESS’s conclusion based on early results for DCT even in the first 43 districts where bank penetration and Aadhaar enrolments were supposed to have been very good. The report says only Rs 22 crore has been disbursed using the Aadhaar payments bridge, while more than twice that amount (Rs 57 crore) was paid out using traditional methods. DCT was less than a third of the total amounts disbursed.
If this is the outcome in districts with the best bank-Aadhaar penetration and that too for schemes that anyway involve only cash – scholarships and pensions – and where there is little fraud, one wonders how it will work for the more massive MGNREGA and LPG subsidy schemes that are being targeted for rollout in 121 districts by 1 July and 1 October this year, respectively. The complete national rollout is scheduled for 1 April 2014 – a tell-tale indication of where the election time-table could lie as far as the Congress leadership is concerned.
The Espirito Santo research is certainly not negative on DCT – and nobody beyond Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council (NAC) has serious doubts that it can only be an improvement over the way welfare schemes are implemented right now, with lots of leakages, ghost beneficiaries, and excessive corruption. Estimates of savings for the exchequer range from a minimum of Rs 33,000 crore (according to the PMO) to a wildly optimistic Rs 1,10,000 crore of savings, according to a study by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
The upper-end expectations are clearly pie-in-the-sky given our record of poor implementation of almost any scheme.
In the case of DCT, in particular, the problems lie in the short-term political expectations embedded in the scheme, which raise concerns about whether they will be implemented well enough and with long-term benefits in mind. Just as MGNREGA and farm loan waivers were implemented without great thought being given to scheme design and reviews, DCT too falls into the same basic cracks.
MGNREGA is facing hurdles in its seventh year of implementation, and the outlays on the scheme have been cut from peak levels just before the 2009 elections due to supply side problems (supply side means providing work for those who demand it). The farm loan waivers scheme has been negatively commented upon by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
Will it be the same story with DCT in 2014? These are Espirito Santo’s conclusions:
#1: Full rollout before 2014 is “extremely unlikely.” The best guess is that “the bulk of the savings will come only after the complete roll-out which may take two to three years.”
#2: Most experts are cautiously positive on DCT, but they dispute the quantum of benefits the government is expecting from it, since few believe that corruption will be eliminated.
#3: ESS does not see “DCT as addressing the near-term fiscal problem. It has to be accompanied by further cuts to subsidies, among other things.”
Conclusion: DCT will not be a game-changer by 2014. ESS says: “We estimate that the impact of DCT will be substantial only post 2015-16, unless the scheme dies down due to lack of political will post the 2014 elections.”
The larger point is this, as Firstpost pointed out earlier. Even in 2009, the Congress party only fooled itself when it thought MGNREGA was a game-changer, when the real thing that delivered it a convincing victory was fast-paced growth from 2003-2008. That, unfortunately, is not the case now.
Memo to Sonia: get reforms going, get growth going. DCT is a direct transfer of benefits to the next government in any case.

 

 

 

 

Duplication woes hit Aadhaar project in Uttar Pradesh #UID


Arunav Sinha, TNN | May 21, 2013, 06.26 AM IST

 

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LUCKNOW: Conceived with the idea to provide an identity to every Indian, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) came into existence in 2009. However, four years down the line, the authority’s website itself has become a victim of duplication, and presents an unclear picture to the public.

What’s more interesting is the fact that the UIDAI’s website gives two different sets of data pertaining to Aadhaar enrolment progress for Congress stronghold of Rae Bareli, one of the 78 districts identified for roll out of Direct Benefit Transfer scheme. Apart from Rae Bareli, the hyperlink giving details of Aadhaar enrolment progress in the state (https://portal.uidai.gov.in/uidwebportal/dashboard.do?st=Uttar%20Pradesh) also mentions dual data for Baghpat, Bulandshahr, Maharajganj, and Sant Ravidas Nagar.

TOI tried to contact UIDAI director general VS Madan but he was unavailable for comment. Thereafter, when this correspondent contacted the deputy director general media, the call was routed to a deputy director ranked official who acknowledged the anomaly, but refused to comment on the point of duplication.

On May 20, at 4.12 pm, Aadhaar enrolment progress of Rae Bareli district was 1,43,877 and that of Raebareli was 15,870. On further tehsil-wise classification, the figures were 63,915 and 12,802 respectively. Another district, where the difference between two sets of Aadhaar enrolment progress data is huge is Baghpat. According to one figure, Baghpat’s Aadhaar enrolment progress was 23,878, while another figure cites it as 757 (on May 19). Similarly, Sant Ravidas Nagar too has different sets of figures – 17,663 and 14,131. Maharajganj, the district which borders Nepal, also boasts of dual identity as far as Aadhaar enrolment progress is concerned. One set of data puts the number at 9,929 (Maharajganj), other puts the same number at 4,573 (Mahrajganj). The western UP district of Bulandshahr, too, has distinct set of Aadhaar enrolment progress. According to one set, the current Aadhaar enrolment progress of Bulandshahar is 53,190; whereas for Bulanshahr, it is 6,122.

Even the daily count of total Aadhaar generated, enrolment applications rejected have two different figures. On May 19, Aadhaar generated for Bara Banki and Barabanki was 76 and 2 respectively, while for Bulandshahar, it was 11 and 58 for Bulandshahr.

Similarly, for Rae Bareli, Aadhaar generation was 67, and it was 10 for Raebareli. Maharajganj too had two sets of Aadhaar generation figures. While, one set put the daily Aadhaar generated figures at 207 (Maharajganj), the other put the same numbers at 3 (Mahrajganj). Apart from these districts, Sant Ravidas Nagar and Sant Ravidas Nagar Bhadohi, too, had different figures of 31 and 5 respectively. However, on May 20, the anomaly pertaining to Barabanki was removed.

 

 

Fake ration cards being used for #Aadhaar cards in Goa #UID


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Pilerne Citizens Forum in Goa has filed a complaint with Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India

News | by IANS

PANAJI, GOA: Bogus ration cards, a fact which has been acknowledged by Goa’s civil supplies ministry, are being used to acquire Aadhaar cards in the state, a civil society group claimed Thursday.

“Bogus ration cards are being used as identity proofs, especially in slum areas, to get Aadhaar cards. This will reduce the social security number exercise to a farce,” Yatish Naik, a spokesperson of the Pilerne Citizens Forum (PCF) told reporters here.

The PCF, which brought to light instances where ration cards had been forged by the hundreds a couple of years back, has filed a complaint with Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India — in-charge of the central agency implementing the Aadhaar card project.

“We have asked Nilekani to plug this loophole,” Naik said.

The civil supplies ministry has already ordered a probe into the problem of fake ration cards after a ruling legislator told the Goa assembly recently that Nepali and Bangladeshi nationals had obtained ration cards by forging documents.

 

Public clamouring for Aadhaar cards enrolled several months ago #UID


11 May 2013, 1618 hrs IST
Kerala News: P H Kurian, IT principal secretary to the state government had told ‘Express’ on Thursday that out of the 3.25 crore Aadhaar cards needed in the state, 2.42 crore have been generated.
But it is learnt through officials in Akshaya state-level office, which oversees the generation of Aadhaar cards and other e-district activities, that there is a telling difference, in particular months, between the number of Aadhaar cards Akshaya State office and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) say have been generated in the state, and the actual figures.
The public is approaching Akshaya centres to know the status of their Aadhaar card for which they enrolled several months ago, with the need for Aadhaar cards increasing day by day, so as to avail direct subsidy scheme through Aadhaar-linked bank accounts.
For instance, in the month of October 2012, a PDF file in the UIDAI site says 5,12,977 cards were generated that through the Akshaya Centres in the state, but the state Akshaya office says that the Bangalore Data Centre (BDC) of the UIDAI, has sent them the figure of 3,02,596 for the total number of cards generated in the state; the difference being 2,10,381.
“Only the UIDAI knows about this difference . We have written to BDC officials about the discrepancy. But, ultimately the figures will be tallied in the coming months. We are receiving money for the generated cards as per the UIDAI data. From this amount, money is allotted to the concerned Akshaya entrepreneurs, as per the BDC figures,†said a higher official who in the accounts section of Akshaya. He also said that the ‘surplus’ money allotted by the UIDAI is being kept under the state Akshaya Office.
No Variation
Akshaya entrepreneurs, who have been managing Aadhaar enrolment with other agencies such as the Keltron, have made allegations of financial misappropriation. “There cannot be such variation in the figures. Both the BDC and UIDAI are doing the same work and the BDC, which provides technical support to the UIDAI, cannot give a separate figure. Each of our operators has a separate login id and the number of cards they generate can be clearly found in the UIDAI server. Generated figures are shown less to prevent the entrepreneurs from getting their due payment.
What Akshaya does with the ‘surplus’ UIDAI payment, need to be observed closely,†said a state-level functionary of Akshaya Entrepreneurs Association. Going by just the October data, Akshaya has kept apart as much as Rs 73,63,335 because of the discrepancy in figures. And the total ‘surplus’ money, from September to December 2012, which could be easily calculated by visiting the UIDAI and Akshaya websites, is Rs 89,25,140, entrepreneurs noted.
P H Kurian, IT principal secretary to the state government had told Express on Thursday that out of the 3.25 crore Aadhaar cards needed in the state, 2.42 crore have been generated. He said that it would not be possible to make cards available to all before July this year.
The Indian government has approved Rs 3,436.16 crore for Phase IV of the UID (Aadhaar card) scheme. This fund includes Rs 1,600 crore to cover the cost of enrolling an additional 40 crore residents, Rs 490 crore updation services, Rs 1,049 crore for printing and dispatch of Aadhaar letters and Rs 247.16 crore towards additional cost for construction of buildings for headquarters, data centers and non-data centers of UIDAI. According to the government report, Phase IV is to commence immediately. The time period to be covered by the funds released is not clear.
The government informed that around 31 crore UID numbers have been issued since September 29, 2010 and it hopes to release another 40 crore numbers by the end of March 2014.
Aadhaar Project Funding
On November 2009, the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) had approved Rs 147.31 crore to be issued during the Phase I of the scheme to meet expenditure in the first 12 months. In Phase II, Rs 3,023.01 crores was approved by the CC-UIDAI on July 22, 2010 to issue 10 crore UID numbers through multiple registrars, other project components and recurring establishment costs up to March 2014. On January 27, 2012, Rs 5791.74 crores was approved by CC-UIDAI for Phase III to issue UID numbers to 20 crore residents through multiple registrars up to March 2012, technology and other support infrastructure costs for creation, storage and maintenance of data and services for leveraging the usage of Aadhaar for the entire estimated resident population up to March 2017.
Aadhaar rollouts till now
It is worth noting that Aadhaar numbers have already been made mandatory including several departments such as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the revenue department. Plans are also being made to integrate issue of ration cards and passports also to individual Aadhaar numbers. In December 2012, five Indian banks had launched an instant prepaid card service called the Saral money service allowing users to open a bank account using their Aadhaar card for know your customer (KYC) validation. UIDAI has further partnered with 15 more banks to use Aadhaar as KYC validation.
In November 2012, Indian Government had announced plans to roll out an Aadhaar based Direct Cash Transfer initiative from January 1, 2013. Following this, all government departments who were transferring cash to individual beneficiaries, will transition to this electronic transfer system based on Aadhaar Payment Platform. This includes all subsidy transfers like education loans, scholarships, MNREGA payments, old age pension, PDS subsidies, LPG subsidies, Indira Awaas Yojna subsidies and fertilizer subsidies.
In October 2012, the government had launched Aadhaar enabled service delivery platform for citizens to access services of various government schemes such as wage payments, payment of social security benefits such as old-age payments, among others. In the same month, Vodafone had also launched a pilot project in Hyderabad using Aadhaar to verify and activate new prepaid and post paid connections.
However, the goofs up in the Aadhaar project also continue. In April 2013, we had reported that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has apparently issued around 3,858 Aadhaar letters with photos of trees, animals or buildings in place of the photos of individuals. In April 2012, UIDAI had apparently issued an Aadhaar card to a fictitious Mr Kothimeer (coriander) with a photo of a mobile phone. In May 2012, the Indian Postal Department had apparently sent back around 50,000 Aadhaar cards issued in Hyderabad, back to the UIDAI due non-existing addresses on the envelopes.

 

Officials find discrepancy in the figures of Aadhaar card generation #UID


 

By Nidhin T R – KOTTAYAM 11th May 2013 08:28 AM
P H Kurian, IT principal secretary to the state government had told ‘Express’ on Thursday that out of the 3.25 crore Aadhaar cards needed in the state, 2.42 crore have been generated. | EPS
P H Kurian, IT principal secretary to the state government had told ‘Express’ on Thursday that out of the 3.25 crore Aadhaar cards needed in the state, 2.42 crore have been generated. | EPS
With the need for Aadhaar cards increasing day by day, so as to avail direct subsidy scheme through Aadhaar-linked bank accounts, the public is approaching Akshaya centres to know the status of their Aadhaar card for which they enrolled several months ago.
But it is learnt through officials in Akshaya state-level office, which oversees the generation of Aadhaar cards and other e-district activities, that there is a telling difference, in particular months, between the number of Aadhaar cards Akshaya State office and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) say have been generated in the state, and the actual figures.
For instance, in the month of October 2012, a PDF file in the UIDAI site says 5,12,977 cards were generated that through the Akshaya Centres in the state, but the state Akshaya office says that the Bangalore Data Centre (BDC) of the UIDAI, has sent them the figure of 3,02,596 for the total number of cards generated in the state; the difference being 2,10,381.
“Only the UIDAI knows about this difference . We have written to BDC officials about the discrepancy. But, ultimately the figures will be tallied in the coming months. We are receiving money for the generated cards as per the UIDAI data. From this amount, money is allotted to the concerned Akshaya entrepreneurs, as per the BDC figures,” said a higher official who in the accounts section of Akshaya. He also said that the ‘surplus’ money allotted by the UIDAI is being kept under the state Akshaya Office.
No Variation
Akshaya entrepreneurs, who have been managing Aadhaar enrolment with other agencies such as the Keltron, have made allegations of financial misappropriation. “There cannot be such variation in the figures. Both the BDC and UIDAI are doing the same work and the BDC, which provides technical support to the UIDAI, cannot give a separate figure. Each of our operators has a separate login id and the number of cards they generate can be clearly found in the UIDAI server.  Generated figures are shown less to prevent the entrepreneurs from getting their due payment. What Akshaya does with the ‘surplus’ UIDAI payment, need to be observed closely,” said a state-level functionary of Akshaya Entrepreneurs Association. Going by just the October data, Akshaya has kept apart as much as `73,63,335 because of the discrepancy in figures. And the total ‘surplus’ money, from September to December 2012, which could be easily calculated by visiting the UIDAI and Akshaya websites, is `89,25,140, entrepreneurs noted.
P H Kurian, IT principal secretary to the state government had told ‘Express’ on Thursday that out of the 3.25 crore Aadhaar cards needed in the state, 2.42 crore have been generated.  He said that it would not be possible to make cards available to all before July this year.

 

 

Centre likely to skip Aadhaar for Direct Benefit Transfer? #UID


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Arunav Sinha , TNN | May 10, 2013, 02.17 AM IST
LUCKNOW: Centre may bypass Aadhaar to accomplish the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) before the scheme is launched on July 1. According to sources, instructions were issued to ensure speedy and timely implementation of DBT and to ensure no beneficiary was left out, in a meeting held on April 29 in New Delhi, chaired by Union finance minister P Chidambaram and mission director of DBT Sindhushri Khullar and attended by district magistrates of 78 districts, where the second phase of the DBT will roll out.
Aadhaar, which was to be the basis of receiving the benefit, seems too have been circumvented. “The main objective of the DBT is to transfer benefits directly to Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts of the beneficiaries. But, if a beneficiary does not have an Aadhaar number, it has been decided to take an alternate route such as ECS or NEFT, so that no one is denied the benefits he/she is entitled to,” said a senior state government official, who attended the meeting.
He stated further that in the first phase of DBT (which was earlier called direct cash transfer), around 3.5 crore transactions were complete, with transfer of Rs 45 crore to the Aadhaar-seeded accounts of the beneficiaries. The government had estimated that about 16 lakh beneficiaries would be covered under phase-1 of the scheme rolled out in 43 districts. Of these, 13 lakh were identified by the banks, of whom only 5.5 lakh reported their Aadhaar numbers to the banks.
In Uttar Pradesh, six districts have been selected for the second phase of the DBT rollout, including Congress bastions of Rae Bareli and Amethi, besides Samajwadi Party stronghold of Etawah, Chitrakoot, Shravasti and Sant Kabir Nagar.
Sources also indicated that the relatively slow pace of Aadhaar enrolment may also contribute to finding an alternate route to reach the target beneficiaries. Most of the district magistrates TOI spoke to expressed confidence they would complete the list soon. P Guruprasad, DM of Etawah, said, “At present, we are focusing completely on the schemes, which we have to implement in our district, and completing all the necessary work on a priority basis, so that no beneficiary is left out.” Similar views were expressed by Amit Gupta, district magistrate of Rae Bareli.
When contacted, Balkar Singh, district magistrate of Chitrakoot, said, “There have been some technical problems during enrolment of beneficiaries, but that would be sorted out soon by the agency concerned.” DM of Shravasti Bhanu Chandra Goswami, elaborating on steps taken to meet the deadline, said, “We have started simultaneously opening bank accounts of the beneficiaries in the district and have also stepped up capture of fingerprint through biometric means. We will ensure that maximum coverage of the beneficiaries is done before the commencement of the DBT. If (in worst-case scenario), any beneficiary is left out, we may opt alternate ways, but no beneficiary would be allowed to suffer.”
When asked to comment on the current developments, CS Mishra, assistant director general of UIDAI, Lucknow regional office, said, “Our role is limited only to Aadhaar generation.” On the critical question of what would be the fate of the DBT without Aadhaar, Mishra refrained from answering.
Experts, however, argue that DBT without Aadhaar may defeat the purpose of the latter altogether. “Before rolling out the DBT, the government must ensure who are the genuine beneficiaries and they are the ones who benefit actually, so that a story of graft like in the case of MNREGS does not repeat. One of the prime objectives of Aadhaar is to eliminate duplicates and ghost beneficiaries under various schemes. This is expected to save the government exchequer a substantial amount. It will also provides governments with accurate data on beneficiaries, enable direct transfer of benefits. But, if it is bypassed conveniently, this may become the new breeding ground of corruption in India, and the magnitude of corruption would be gigantic. Apart from this, the choice of VIP districts like Etawah, Amethi and Rae Bareli has also raised doubts on the intention of DBT. This adds strength to the possibility that corruption will prevail here too,” said SN Shukla, former IAS officer.

 

 

 

Mumbai – Errant #Aadhaar contractors paid Rs 5.5cr fine: RTI #UID


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Thursday, May 2, 2013, 8:00 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The state has charged penalties of more than Rs5.5 crore from various contractors authorised for Aadhaar card enrollment.

 

The state has charged penalties of more than Rs5.5 crore from various contractors authorised for Aadhaar card enrollment.  The details were made available through a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by Anand Pargaonkar.

Around 13 agencies are given the contract to enroll people for Aadhar cards. Details provided by the state’s IT department to Pargaonkar up to 2013, 11 of 13 agencies were fined Rs5,61,90,790.

Tera Software Ltd was levied the maximum penalty of Rs1.85 crore for delay in uploading the packet (data) as per UIDAI guidelines. Others were fined for similar reasons.

The second highest, Rs87.68 lakh, was levied on Strategic Outsourcing Services, followed by GSS America Infotech Ltd – Rs 65.67 lakh – and Mahaonline Ltd – Rs64.11 lakh.

“Suspension or cancellation of licences depends on various aspects. It could be lack of better crowd control or supervisors to check how the enrollment is being done, or too many people being given slips at the same time, or the quality of bio-metric data collected,” state IT secretary Rajesh Aggarwal said. “When we cancel contracts, we inform the UIDAI to stop receiving packets from those agencies. Contracts are suspended as a preventive measure, sometimes till the time corrective measures are taken.”

Pargaonkar said the state needs to spruce up services. “Despite fines and suspension of contracts at centres. people continue to have a bad time. They have to stand in queues for long hours or are sent back home without a proper response.

 

 

Andhra Pradesh -Biometric information of 14 lakh #Aadhaar applicants goes missing #UID


 | May 1, 2013 | Postnoon

Beware!-Vital-info-missing-3

Biometric information from over 14 lakh people has gone missing. This could lead to vital data falling into criminal hands.

What can be a greater loss to a city than the loss of identities of its citizens? While the Aadhaar card, projected as a “smart mix of politics and economics,” promises to deliver the “one ultimate identity” to all the citizens of India, its progress report in Andhra Pradesh has no reassuring remarks.

Forget ultimate identity, there seems to be no guarantee of our identities anymore.

On April 8, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) publicly agreed that several lakh Aadhaar enrolments and data were lost. What is described as a “technical error” is in reality the loss of biometrics and personal information of 14 lakh Aadhaar card-seeking citizens of Andhra Pradesh.

Over two lakh citizens in Hyderabad have not found their Aadhaar enrolments online. Fearing public backlash, the UIDAI authorities were able to retrieve over seven lakh enrolments through data retrieval, but have been unable to retrieve the other half. Postnoon investigates.

Current Enrolment Status

Even as the deadline for Aadhaar-c link gets closer, there seems to be little or no co-ordination among any of the three major players — the AP civil supplies and district collectorate, private enrolment agencies and the UIDAI — in the Aadhaar game.

“The selling point of this project was the promise of transparency and accountability. Except for the UIDAI’s website, our State government’s civil supplies or district

collectorates do not seem to have found the need to be accountable,” says Raoji Brahmanand, RTI activist and Aadhaar applicant.

The official explanation for the data loss is that private enrolment agencies had employed agents who developed differences over their remuneration and left the project mid way. Some claim that laptops and equipment containing data also went missing.

“But since high encryptions guard the enrolment data and biometrics, it cannot be decrypted. We are trying to retrieve the data currently,” says an official from UIDAI.

According to data gathered by Postnoon from UIDAI and district collectorate authorities, the current population of the City stands at roughly 82 lakh. Out of this, only 53,28,183 have enrolled for Aadhaar and a little over 30 lakh UID numbers have been generated.

Ask why this slow pace of enrolments and loss of data, S Vijaypal, deputy district collector of Hyderabad collectorate says, “No idea. We are only forwarding whatever enrolment data we receive to the State government and UIDAI.”

The morale among officials handling the Aadhaar project is low and it is evident why.

Here are the current statistics of the Aadhaar project in Hyderabad:

Beware!-Vital-info-missing-2

Beware!-Vital-info-missing-1Beware!-Vital-info-missing

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Use of #Aadhaar card in Voting in Karnataka Assembly Elections #UID


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MOST URGENT

By E-mail including to the media

Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd)                                                                     475, 7th Main Road

                                                                                                                         Vijayanagar 1st Stage

E-mail:<sg9kere@live.com>                                                                          Mysore-570017

Tel:0821-2515187                                                                                            April 19, 2013

To

 

Election Commission of India

Nirvachan Sadan

Ashoka Road

New Delhi-110001

 

Subject: USE OF AADHAAR CARD FOR VOTING IN THE FORTHCOMING MAY 2013 KARNATAKA ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Sirs,

1. According to media reports concerning the forthcoming elections in Karnataka, voters who do not present their Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) at Polling Booths, may use their Aadhaar card as identification for casting their votes. This is apparently a change in policy at the level of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

2. The ECI are requested to note that the instructions printed on the Aadhaar card read as follows:

# Aadhaar is proof of identity, not of citizenship. # To establish identity, authenticate on-line.

3. These instructions read together, indicate that the Aadhaar card bearer’s identity can only be established when it is authenticated on-line by verification of the biometric parameters of fingerprints and iris scans from UIDAI’s records. Therefore, for this purpose, the ECI would need to arrange for and ensure operation of fingerprint detection and iris scan devices connected on-line to UIDAI’s Central ID Data Repository at every polling booth (with standby power supply), for on-line authentication of identity of voters who do not possess the EPIC.

4. If however the Aadhaar card is proposed to be accepted at the polling booth as identification without on-line authentication, then the ECI may consider accepting other documents like Ration Card, Passport or Motor Vehicle Driving Licence, all of which contain as much information as an Aadhaar card, for a Polling Booth Officer to identify the voter. Notwithstanding, the use of Aadhaar card without on-line authentication of identity at polling booths would be misuse of the Aadhaar system and perversion of the election process, since Aadhaar is not proof of citizenship, as stated on the Aadhaar card itself.

5. The ECI are requested to note that waiver of the necessity for EPIC for voting in the May 2013 Karnataka Assembly elections may result in similar waiver being demanded for other elections in the future, thus effectively making the EPIC itself redundant.

6. In view of the foregoing, the ECI are urgently requested to make public announcement to state whether or not facilities for Aadhaar on-line authentication will be provided at polling booths for the May 2013 Karnataka Assembly elections.

 

Yours faithfully,

Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd)

Copy to:

The Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka <feedbackceokar@gmail.com>

Nirvachana Nilaya, Maharani’s College Circle <ceo.karnataka@gmail.com>

Seshadri Road

Bangalore-560001

 

 

Don’t worry, #Aadhaar is not mandatory for now #UID #MUSTSHARE


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Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013, 8:38 IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

 

One need not necessarily have an Aadhaar number as of now for availing of monetary benefits under government schemes such as Employees Provident Fund, insurance and pension or for booking railway tickets and opening bank accounts. As far as the current status of Aadhaar number – meant for direct transfer of subsidies to beneficiaries to plug leakages — is concerned, it is not mandatory for any of the government schemes.

An official from the Unique Identification Authority of India told dna, “As of now Aadhaar number has not been made mandatory for any of the schemes of the central government.

The state governments, meanwhile, may link their schemes with Aadhaar number.”

Even though Aadhaar has not yet been made mandatory for schemes such as EPF, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, under the ministry of labour and employment, has asked its field offices to make maximum efforts to obtain the available Aadhaar number or the enrolment number of the EPF members, in a communication dated February 6.

It is clear that the government intends to make Aadhaar mandatory for schemes such as EPF and pension but the scale and time required is coming in the way.

The EPFO, vide its letter dated January 21, made it mandatory to submit Aadhaar number for new EPF members joining on or after March 1. A labour ministry official said, “During discussions with the UIDAI, it emerged that UID is not enrolled in all the states. Therefore it was decided not to make Aadhaar number mandatory. And an order was subsequently released,” said the official.

In its February letter, the EPFO observed, “In view of discussions held with UIDAI officials and some time required in the process of obtaining Aadhaar numbers, it may not be possible to obtain the number by EPF by March 1. Therefore it has been decided to not make the Aadhaar number/enrolment mandatory for EPF members from March 1, 2013.’

Similarly, in the case of railway reservations, Aadhar card is only one of the documents required. In case of opening of savings account in banks, Aadhar will work as one of the documents required, and has not yet been made mandatory. Existing bank customers as well as new customers can link their accounts with Aadhar number to avail of subsidies on LPG cylinders directly. Even this is not mandatory and is under optional head in the Aadhar application form.

 

 

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