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No proposal to make Aadhaar enrolment mandatory for citizens

The government is not considering any proposal to make it mandatory for citizens to get Aadhaar card issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Parliament was informed on Friday.

“There is no such proposal under consideration of the government at this stage,” Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha, on a question as to whether government proposes to make it mandatory for every citizen to get Aadhaar card issued by UIDAI.

Singh said: “Various ministries, departments and agencies of Centre and states that implement different schemes/ programmes involving provisions of benefits or services are encouraged to leverage Aadhaar for elimination of fakes and duplicates from the list of beneficiaries, increasing efficiency of implementation and achieving higher levels of transparency in operations.

“In doing so it has to be ensured that no eligible person suffers, or is denied any benefit or service, merely for the lack of an Aadhaar.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court asked the Centre and all states to “adhere to” its earlier order that no person should be denied any benefits or “suffer” for not having Aadhaar cards, issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

A batch of pleas is pending in the apex court against decisions by some states to make Aadhaar cards compulsory for a range of activities, including salary, PF disbursals and marriage and property registrations.

On providing legal status to UIDAI project, Singh had informed Parliament earlier this week that National Identification Authority of India Bill (NIDAI Bill) 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on December 3, 2010.

Subsequent to the Report of the Standing Committee on Finance, a notice for introduction of Official Amendments was moved in the Rajya Sabha on November 28, 2013.

At present, the Bill is pending consideration of Rajya Sabha.

The proposed Bill seeks to establish the NIDAI for the purpose of issuing Aadhaar numbers to residents of India and to certain other categories of individuals and the manner of authentication of such individuals.

This would enable establishing identity and facilitate access to various benefits and services to eligible individuals.

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