Union government wants to link SC/ST certificates with Aadhaar

All state governments have been directed by the Centre to link Aadhaar with domicile and caste certificates, according to an updated FAQs from the department of  personnel and training. State governments have been instructed that the certificates should be issued to students who are studying in class V or class VII.

The certificate should be handed to the student and also uploaded to the government’s E-locker wherever such facilities are available in the states. In addition, state governments may try to get further information about students from meta data and link it to Aadhaar-enabled data.

This is being done to ensure there are no frauds during admissions for higher education and government jobs, the FAQs added.

A window of two months in September/October or any other time frame decided by the state government may be allocated for completing this exercise. School headmasters or principals will be required to get the documents collected from scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) students and other students and arrange to submit them to the relevant state government authority or revenue authorities for making the requisite certificate.

Aadhaar bill passed

In March, the  Aadhaar Bill 2016 was passed in the Parliament. The bill was was introduced as a money bill which bypassed voting in the Rajya Sabha. A money bill exclusively contains provisions for imposition and abolition of taxes, for appropriation of moneys out of a consolidated fund. The Rajya Sabha cannot make amendments in a money bill passed by Lok Sabha. Earlier in the budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the government will enact a law where Aadhaar will be given statutory backing. The finance minister also said that the government will develop a social security platform using Aadhaar to target intended beneficiaries.

Recent developments in Aadhaar 

– Earlier this month, private sector lender DCB Bank launched  ATM machines which accept Aadhaar number and fingerprints instead of card and PIN. However, this is limited only to the bank’s customers and other banks’ customers will have to use a card and PIN. Seeding the bank account with the Aadhaar number will be essential before a customer can use the facility.

– In April, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) asked ecommerce companies like eBay, Flipkart, Amazon etc., to not allow merchants on their platforms to collect Aadhaar information from the general public for printing Aadhaar cards.

– In February, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) proposed that the Department of Telecom (DoT) allow e-KYC (know your customer) of Aadhaar as one of the valid documents to get a new mobile connection.

– In the same month, Microsoft said it was working on a pilot to integrate its VoIP solution Skype with the Aadhaar database, to see if Aadhaar can be used as an identification system for video calls with government organisations and institutions among others.