A lot of confusion surrounds Aadhar Card and whether or not it is mandatory document for every Indian. Is Aadhar Card Mandatory? This is the question. Now, the Supreme Court has indeed ruled out against any possibility of making Aadhar Card Mandatory for availing any service, subsidy or benefit offered by the Indian Government. However, it must be noted that over the last year, the LPG subsidies have been linked to Aadhar and also there is a lot of emphasis on getting Aadhar Linked to other services like Voter ID Card, PAN Card, Bank Accounts and so on. So let us try and understand the whole idea behind it all and the possibility of whether or not Aadhar Card is Mandatory for all.
Is Aadhar Card Mandatory? First, Let us check some Facts about Aadhar most of us didn’t know:
What is Aadhar? How this card will help for welfare of people?
Indian government handed over a project to UIDAI on March,2006 as to enroll all the citizens (specially BPL families) of India for Aadhar Card.
It is not just a number but a Unique Identification given to each and every person of India, who pass through Demographic and Biometrics test to qualify for Aadhar. A resident who already has enrolled under National Population Register, are not required to enrol again for Aadhar. 92 crore Aadhar Cards have been enrolled for and Government has spent 56 crore to provide these services for public till date.
Did you know: Aadhar number never starts with 0 or 1.
As Aadhar is kind of a huge project, the chances of fraud & duplicate Aadhar in the market has warmed up at some places. So, to stop such frauds, some people have filed a complaint against Government for making Aadhar voluntarily in the benefit of common public. In 2013, Supreme Court issued an order – Stating that NO resident should suffer for not getting Aadhar Card, thus implying that Aadhar Card Mandatory is actually not the case!
How is the Government trying to increase the importance of Aadhar – When Aadhar Card is not Mandatroy?
The unique number qualify for many government schemes. This card can avail government schemes like an Aadhar linked Bank Account for Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG connection or subsides on ration or kerosene from PDS, pension schemes launched in year 2011, e-Signature, MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act,2005) scheme under which all the applicants were supposed to register with Aadhar Card for his/her benefits from scheme. Digital Locker service to new Digital India is here and a new SIM Card Aadhar will be valid. To link with ID department, they held a meeting with state’s secretaries to get the real feedback on Aadhar project. You can even link PAN card with your Aadhar or get your PAN card through Aadhar. The new Prime Minister Mr.Modi asked the officials to look (Fast track) in Aadhar to complete by 2015 end and also to use Aadhar link with Passports project (A person can get passports in just 10 days, if he/she has Aadhar Card).
So….. Is Aadhar Card Mandatory?
As mentioned above, the supeme court has passed a ruling in this regard. However in 2013 NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) launched a remittance system based on Aadhar number. Aadhar linked to Bank A/c , where funds can be transfer by enrolling just Aadhar number. Total 4,40,00,000 Aadhar numbers were already issued. In 2014, Nandan Nilekani resigned from chairman post and officer Vijay Madan took over the charge of further issuance of Aadhar Card.
In 2014, Modi Government allowed to complete the project faster with a new link for Passports. In September 2014, Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs gave the approval for the next phase for issuance of Aadhar Cards. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the official to examine the UID project link for DBT schemes benefit and one time sharing the portion public saved. Getting a good response in DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) in LPG linked with Aadhar , The Finance minister said we can extent DBT scheme so the poor get more money directly. He proposed a new scheme called JAM- Jan-Dhan, Aadhar, Mobile Yojana so that money can reach directly to the poor through the savings we achieve.
The supreme court noted that despite of declaration on Aadhar card, that the use of Aadhar is voluntary and not compulsory, some states are still insisting Aadhar card mandatory for benefits/welfare government schemes.
The Government had to widely publish everywhere that Aadhar is “not mandatory” for any welfare scheme through Newspapers/ Social Media to make people aware. On the judgement day(October 2015), an apex court bench of judges cleared the air by making Aadhar optional and not mandatory.
Aadhar will be optional for all those who availing various welfare schemes of the Government and no personal information of any such cards shall be shared by any other authority.
So in conclusion….
SC says.’Aadhar / Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) would not be used for any other purposes except PDS, Kerosene, LPG distribution system that to not mandatory.
Also Read: Will the Govt. be able to Convince Supreme Court on Aadhar? – Click Here
Though petitions are yet to decide on larger bench of judges(9/11) that whether in future, Aadhar Card could be mandatory and if so, for which kind of welfare schemes in India.