#India – Plea in Kerala HC against #Aadhaar enrolment #UID


 

By Express News Service – KOCHI 19th June 2013 1

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200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

A petition has been filed before the High Court challenging the decision of the government to insist upon the public for Aadhaar registration as a prerequisite to avail of the benefits of government schemes.

 

 

The petition was filed by Asees Kakkadan, general secretary of the Kozhikode Jilla Pouravakasha Samrakshana Samithi. According to the petitioner, the National Identification Authority of India Bill-2010 was rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in December 2011. But even then the Centre is going ahead with the project only to aid the private agency involved in the enrolment procedure, the petitioner alleged.The petitioner submitted that the government insists on Aadhaar registration for availing of benefits of schemes like LPG subsidy, welfare pension and education benefits.

 

 

“A citizen cannot be denied the benefits of government projects only for not registering under an authority. And the Aadhaar lacks legislative sanction. At present, various identity cards are being issued like election identity card, ration card, driving licence, pan card etc., which clearly establish the identity of a person. Hence insisting on Aadhaar number is illegal,” the plea said.

 

 

#India – Even LPG cash transfer faces #Aadhaar problem #UID


Pranav Nambiar P Thursday, May 30, 2013 , FE
New Delhi : In the 20 districts selected for the first phase of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme roll-out starting June 1, not even one out of five households is in a position to benefit from the scheme right now, an FE investigation shows. In these 20 districts — deemed to be the most Aadhaar-ready — with an estimated 76 lakh households, only 56% have their LPG connections linked to an Aadhaar number. And hardly a third of these households with Aadhaar-linked LPG accounts have bank accounts seeded with Aadhaar cards. Considering that such a dismal situation persists even in these districts selected for the initial phase of DBT roll-out primarily on the basis of their high Aadhaar penetration (80%), it is clear that the scheme’s expansion to the more unprepared and less accessible parts of the country is easier said than done.
The country has a total of 14 crore households with LPG connections, going by the records of oil marketing companies. The government’s hope is that pan-India roll-out of DBT for LPG subsidy disbursal would help trim its subsidy burden on this fuel by an annual R10,000 crore. The DBT scheme, meant to to cover the government’s annual bills on subsidy and entitlements like pension and scholarships by cutting leakages, is expected to come handy for the fiscal consolidation drive.
Government officials in the know told FE for every 100 households on an average in these 20 districts, some 80 have an Aadhaar card, of which around 56 have LPG connections seeded to their Aadhaar card and just 19 bank accounts seeded with Aadhaar cards. Owing to these low levels of linkage, a grace period of three months has been given to people in these districts to link Aadhaar cards with both LPG and bank accounts. During this period, they would continue to get the entitled number of LPG cylinders at subsidised prices.
This effectively means a deferment of the DBT roll-out. After this grace period, all customers who have not completed the necessary formalities will have to buy LPG cylinders at market price (that is, sans any subsidy), till they complete the same and be able to access DBT benefit.
Among the 20 districts covered under the first phase of DBT, two – Mysore in Karnataka and Mandi in Himachal – will start the scheme out from July 1, due to bye-elections. Of the remaining 18, those with the lowest bank linkages include SBS Nagar in Punjab, Diu in Daman and Diu as well as Una in Himachal Pradesh, which has less than 10% Aadhaar linkages to bank accounts. LPG linkages in these regions are higher at around 40-50%.
On the other hand, some districts like Mysore in Karnataka, Pathanamthitta in Kerala, and East Goa in Goa have about 30-40% of bank accounts linked to Aadhaar. LPG linkages to Aadhaar cards are also relatively higher in these districts ranging between 50-75%.
Under the DBT scheme, LPG consumers will get about Rs 4,500 per annum in cash from the government in their bank accounts as subsidy. They will have to buy LPG cylinders at the market price of Rs 901.50 (per 14.2-kg). The supply of subsidised LPG cylinder has been capped at nine cylinders per year for a consumer.
Banks have also been somewhat tardy in reaching out to the intended beneficiaries as they expect individuals to take up the onus in getting bank accounts and LPG connections seeded with Aadhaar, an official added. “Nevertheless,we have now launched extensive awareness campaigns across different formats like print, television and radio. We are also distributing pamphlets about the benefits of the programme and have kept drop boxes at LPG distributors for submitting bank account details,” the official said. He added that some people, particularly sections of the upper middle class and high net worth individuals might even be showing lack of interest in availing themselves of the DBT benefit.
A government official from Tumkur district in Karnataka said the reason for the low bank account linkages is that some people are worried about sharing bank account details in case it might be misused. In Tumkur, out of a targeted 3.20 lakh households, only about 18% bank accounts and 55% LPG connections are linked to Aadhaar.
An official in Maharashtra’s Wardha district said in many cases, people do not have bank accounts. This has slowed down the process of linking bank accounts with Aadhaar cards. Out of 2.01 lakh households, 66% have LPG and 38% bank accounts seeded to Aadhaar.
An official in Kerala’s Wayanad district said there has been a slight improvement in the seeding levels as the June 1 kick-off date approaches. They are hoping the three-month moratorium along with enhanced SMS and call centre campaigns will push a much larger number of people to join the scheme. Out of the 1.4 lakh households in Wayanad, around 95,000 have LPG linkages to Aadhaar and 35,000 bank linkages with Aadhaar.
The government has not finalised the dates for the subsequent phases of rolling out the LPG DBT scheme to other districts. “We will watch and learn from these 20 districts before finalisng our next phase,” said a government official close to the development. At present, there are about 145 million LPG connections in the country.
To avail of the subsidy, customers without a bank account must open an account by submitting Aadhaar details to the bank branch or LPG distributors. Similarly, customers can link their LPG connections to Aadhaar cards by submitting details to the LPG distributors. As per the DBT scheme, Aadhaar-linked domestic LPG consumers will get an advance in their bank accounts as soon as they book the first subsidised cylinder even before delivery.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

#Aadhaar , UID officials snub ragpicker as her hands are too coarse! #WTFnews


English: Fingerprint

 

 

Every time the Bibwewadi resident visits the local aadhaar centre, she is sent back by the executives who maintain they can’t secure her fingerprints.

 

March 19, 2013

 

PUNE

 

Priyankka Deshpande

 

 

 

Bibewadi resident Shyama Acharekar (name changed to protect identity) has been doing the rounds of the local Aadhaar enrolment centre for over a month now. But she hasn’t had any luck so far. The ragpicker’s pleas are shot down every time by the executives at the office, who say they can’t secure her fingerprints as are hands are badly scratched up – an occupational hazard.

 

 

Though it’s a perplexing problem, Shyama is not the only one facing such issues. MiD DAY has learnt that many people working as daily wage labourers are confronted with similar problems while trying to get Aadhaar enrolment. Just like Shyama, intense physical toil has left them with scarred hands and scraped fingers, thus making it difficult for the representatives at UID centres to obtain their prints.

 

 

Laxmi Narayan, general secretary of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, pointed out that labourers and the poor are expected to be the primary beneficiaries of the Aadhar Yojana.

 

 

Labourers are being ill-treated by officials at the UID enrolment centres. One of the members of my organisation, who resides in Chinchwad, is a leprosy patient. UID officials say they are facing problems obtaining her fingerprints because of the disease,” Narayan said.

 

 

She claimed that officials had told such labourers to come back after month so in the interim they could confer with their superiors for a possible solution to overcome the problem. “But it seems they haven’t succeeded, as ragpickers like Shyama are still forced to come to the enrolment centres repeatedly,” said Narayan.

 

 

District Aadhaar in-charge Apurva Wankhede said she was aware of such cases and measures to deal with them were being put in place.

 

 

“Two such incidents had occurred last month, wherein labourers were asked come back to complete enrolment procedure at a centre. We immediately looked into the matter and asked the officials to prepare separate forms for such people,” she said.

 

 

‘Where is Aadhaar?’

 

Quarry worker Bastu Rege said there were about one lakh such labourers and members of nomadic tribes, entitled to register under Aadhaar Yojana, following which they would become beneficiaries of several government schemes. But he alleged that not a single enrolment machine had reached their settlements.

 

 

Rege said he would now be taking up the matter with the higher authorities regarding the apathy exhibited towards them by the administration.

 

 

Expertspeak

 

A fingerprint expert from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said hardened palms and fingers because of excessive manual work lead to unclear prints.

 

 

“Tracing such fingerprints is an arduous task. The committee for Aadhaar must quickly find a solution to the problem rather than making the poor run from pillar to post,” he said.

 

 

 

Online #Aadhaar slot booking fails #UID- yeh to hona hi tha :-P


 

 

DC | Amar Tejaswi |

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Hyderabad: The much-publicised online slot booking system for Aadhaar enrolments seems to be encountering serious problems.
Officials, who were publicising the ease of Aadhaar enrolment with the online slot booking system, are now saying that minute-to-minute list of slots available at all enrolment centres are impossible to maintain.
The Aadhaar enrolment slot booking website remained  unresponsive on Tuesday. Now, only enrolment centres inside the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits would offer online slot booking by phone or the Aadhaar website. Those outside the GHMC have been deleted from the system.
Also, the slot availability dates were going to April and June in centres in Hyderabad. It was the end of March for most centres in Ranga Reddy district.
With only three days to go for the extended deadline to link Aadhaar to LPG connections, people are still grappling with enrolment. Even  those enrolment centres  offering online slot booking doesn’t seem to be serving any purpose, as several people reported being turned back from the centres or made to wait there for a long time since there was already a long list of pending applications.
Ranga Reddy district collector A. Vani Prasad on Tuesday asked people not to panic and said that the deadline is not binding. Regarding the online slot booking system, she said,  “It is probably due to the previous day’s pendency. Initially, the system encountered problems, but it is fine now,” she said.
However, B. Narsimha Reddy, district supplies officer, Rangareddy, said, “It is not possible to make  minute-to-minute list of slots available online. All the rural centres have been deleted from online booking, retaining only those under the GHMC limits.”

 

 

 

#Aadhaar gives midnight dates, anyone interested ;-) #UID


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DC | L. Venkat Ram Reddy |
Hyderabad: The much-discussed, on-line slot booking system for Aadhaar enrolment by calling 1100, is giving applicants a bigger head-ache.
Several applicants who called 1100 were shocked to find that they were given slots at midnight, though officials said this could be due to technical glitches which would be rectified soon.
The system sends an SMS to the mobile phones of applicants after registering their details through the IVRS, asking them to visit the respective enrolment centre with the necessary documents at the scheduled time specified.
Shockingly, the applicants have been receiving SMSes asking them to come to a particular enrolment centre at odd hours from 9 pm to midnight.
There were even cases where applicants were asked to come to the centres in the wee hours between 2 am and 5 am.They are also being asked to visit far-off centres despite having enrolment centres nearby.
Shocked applicants are clueless about whether to visit enrolment centres or not at these odd hours to get enrolled for Aadhaar.
Some applicants who got a slot between 9 pm and 11 pm, rushed to enrolment centres on Saturday only to find that the centres were closed. Such incidents came to light in Uppal, Amberpet, Banjara Hills, Himayatnagar, Sec-underabad etc.
The plight of senior citizens and women carrying kids waiting in front of enrolment centres at midnight was even pitiable.

 

 

 

 

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