Centre to focus on Aadhaar implementation, other key progs in UTs

This includes encouraging states to pass specific laws for authorising the use of Aadhaar for its welfare schemes and services

Shifting the focus to Union Territories (UTs) for the implementation of the Aadhaar programme and the direct benefit transfer, the cabinet secretariat has sought a detailed report from them on benefits and savings accrued to them for using Aadhaar.

Acting on it, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a separate communication, asked the UTs — which the Centre feels can become torch bearers of the national development agenda — to furnish the report at the earliest.

The move followed a meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June on Aadhaar and DBT, where it was decided that the MHA will focus on UTs to ensure the implementation of the points discussed.

This includes encouraging states to pass specific laws for authorising the use of Aadhaar for its welfare schemes and services, developing mechanisms for the use of Aadhaar for criminal investigation and prisoner management, and putting a framework for exchange of data between ministries, and 100 per cent Aadhaar seeding in selected services and schemes by March next year.

Publicising the benefits of Aadhaar, periodic awareness generation on Aadhaar among various stakeholders and assessment of benefits and savings in welfare schemes due to Aadhaar, were some of the other points discussed in the meeting.

The government’s focus on the seven UTs is also clear with the government think tank NITI Aayog launching a UT progress tracker as per the Prime Minister’s instructions in June this year.

The progress tracker was aimed at developing a reliable database to monitor and track the progress of the various developmental schemes and projects of the government, and improving accountability and transparency in the delivery of public services in the UTs.

The progress tracker was developed under a collaboration of NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme on Strengthening Capacity for Decentralised Planning. The NITI Aayog also organised a workshop in Puducherry on November 3, for training officials on effectively using the progress tracker.

A NITI Aayog note seen by DNA stated UTs can be the torch bearers of development and can also act as the role model for states. It adds that the progress tracker was developed in order to ensure that the UTs’ achievements are properly monitored and escalated for replication in the states.

“It aims at real-time policy interventions, monthly monitoring of various developmental schemes, thereby accelerating the National Development Agenda,” the note says of the UT progress tracker.