- Veröffentlicht: 13. Mai 2017
Invoking the Orwellian images of State surveillance to oppose the Aadhaar card system is wholly irrational and misplaced. To think that an identification tool for streamlining citizen services will automatically amount to usurping citizens’ rights is a warped notion, particularly in this technology-driven age. While genuine concerns over privacy issues need to be addressed, the importance of having a robust and fool-proof scientific database of citizens, with unique identification numbers, cannot be ignored. Any attempt to give an ideological spin to the ongoing debate over Aadhaar and turning it into a ‘State versus civil rights’ face-off is a self-defeating exercise. It would be a great disservice to the people if modern transparency tools are blocked in the garb of protecting individual rights. Aadhaar is essentially an e-governance tool to help streamline the systems, eliminate leakages and bogus claims, rationalise welfare schemes and bring all citizens under the ambit of formal economy. However, concerns are being raised over privacy and security issues if Aadhaar is linked to PAN card and made mandatory for income tax returns. It is argued that since there are no safeguards at present to prevent misuse or leakage of citizens’ data, Aadhaar should not be made mandatory for I-T assessment and welfare schemes. While the question whether Aadhaar should be voluntary or mandatory will be decided by the Supreme Court, the nation needs to repose faith in the teams of talented and dedicated professionals who are tirelessly working on a robust and error-free system that is meant for larger public good.
Since its inception in 2009, the biometric-based resident identification programme has met with scepticism amid fears over data violation and breach of privacy. The problems of identity theft, fraud and misrepresentation are real concerns that need to be fixed. While there is a strong case for a national law for data privacy and protection, rejecting the Aadhaar system on the grounds of possible privacy breach is like throwing the baby with the bathwater. An identification number is the best way to make government spending on welfare more efficient and ensure that benefits reach the needy. Since there were many instances in the past where people held multiple PAN numbers to evade taxes, linking Aadhaar with PAN card will actually go a long way in curbing tax evasion and black money. As on April 15 this year, over 113 crore Indians, accounting for 88% of the total population, have an Aadhaar number. Already, the programme has helped in eliminating bogus beneficiaries of welfare schemes, resulting in a saving of Rs 50,000 crore to the exchequer. It is clear that Aadhaar can plug leakages in social welfare schemes and must be implemented vigorously while simultaneously putting in place enough safeguards.
Quelle/Source: Telangana Today, 06.05.2017