Averting the Act of Impersonation: Indian Railways Plans to Link Aadhaar with Ticketing Services

BENGALURU: Recent reports from the Yahoo states that the Indian Railways is looking forward to link ticketing services with the Aadhaar unique identity project. The effort aims to restrain cases of impersonation as well as slash expenses on subsidy and other forms of concessions. The smart initiative will be in contrast to last year’s Supreme Court’s order that restricted the use of Aadhaar only to the Public Distribution System (PDS) and LPG connections. Although, the matter is still pending before the Constitution Bench for a final decision as the Supreme Court stated that the programme cannot be made mandatory for availing government benefits.

The railway plan will be effectively introduced in two phases. In the first stage, it will be made mandatory to provide Aadhaar number to avail concessions under various quotas reserved for senior citizens, differently abled, freedom fighters, students and unemployed youths. Whereas, in the second phase, railways will link all ticket booking services to the Aadhaar card. In simple term, a passenger will have to provide the Aadhaar number while booking a ticket online or at the reservation windows. The number will be printed on the ticket. During the travel, ticket examiners will enter the number in their mobile devices and verify passenger’s identity details including photograph. Later on, Aadhaar will also be made mandatory for booking unreserved tickets. Main motive of the project is to ensure the issue of tickets to genuine passengers.

The Aadhaar project was started seven years ago with a clear intention of helping the citizens of the country. It primarily focuses on people with no other form of portable ID such as a driving license or passport and allows them to access the government and banking services.

“According to government statistics, 96 per cent of Indians have been given Aadhaar numbers. By making Aadhaar card mandatory, railways will be able to check impersonation and thus revenue losses,” states a senior Railway Board official.