Should Aadhar be made mandatory for social welfare schemes in India?


The never ending Aadhar debate is becoming interesting day by day with court hearing. When UIDAI introduced Aadhar in the UPA regime, one of the main targets was to simplify and bring ease into social welfare schemes. In the NDA era, the whole issue of making it mandatory has irked people from several sectors of society and the Supreme Court hearing on that is presently bringing up various aspects of it. Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for UIDAI and the Gujarat government, told the five bench Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the 12 digit national identifier brought Indians face to face with the service providers for getting the benefits. The bench didn’t seem too impressed with the idea and retorted back with its ‘exclusive’ nature.

The bench comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan remarked,”We are not sure if that is the best model. The individual should not be a supplicant. The state should go to him and give him benefits.” No doubt, the bench stressed on the fact that Aadhar is a mean to identify people but cannot be the only caveat to that there should be no exclusion. In other words, the Supreme Court highlighted the need to differentiate the mode to eradicate poverty and right to privacy as both are intertwined and are of paramount importance in any democratic set up. Counsel for UIDAI also referred, “The court balanced the rights in the case where fundamental right to life was involved. What are being said under section 7 of the Aadhar Act covers human rights of a lot of people of our country. This court should act as a sentinel to ensure that right to privacy is balanced with all the other rights under Article 21 that Aadhar covers.”

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No doubt, the whole Aadhar debate has arrived at an important juncture where critical aspects like privacy and data protection has come to the forefront. there is no denying the fact that biometric authentication attached to every transaction of an Aadhar user is definitely going to generate huge amount of data which will necessitate the mode to protect the data. Thus from all perspectives, the Aadhar debate has come to a serious point of reference where discussions are going on in the basic level where individual rights and concern are most appreciated.


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