Aadhaar Card – A Complete Wastage!
In a historic judgement on September 23, the Supreme Court ruled that getting an Aadhaar Card can not be made mandatory and the government cannot deny the social benefits to common people without these cards. That raised serious questions over the entire Aadhaar programme, which has turned out to be a total wastage of money and massive burden on the exchequer.
The Supreme Court observed that obtaining the Aadhaar card is optional and cannot be imposed on the people. Even if you do not have an Aadhaar card, you can still get all welfare benefits, subsidies and services. At the same, the apex court directed the government to ensure that these cards are not issues to illegal migrants.
The government has a target of enrolling 1.1 billion in the Aadhaar programme by 2014. However, with the Supreme Court’s ruling, the scheme will slow down, as many people won’t want to go for it, if they already possess Voter ID Card or Ration Card. Launched in 2009 as a projected cost of Rs 15,000 crore, Aadhaar is designed to provide Indian residents a unique 12-digit identity number.
Reports of pioneer of Aadhaar or UID programme, Nandan Nilekani contesting the polls from Bangalore South on a Congress report, have given credence to the allegations that the programme was meant to benefit a section of people, who have business, political or electoral interests.
Since Aadhaar does not distinguish between citizens and non-citizens, there is a big scope for manipulation by some vested interests. And, the apex court’s apprehensions that illegal migrants could be issued Aadhaar cards are not unfounded. Many political leaders may indulge in such activities as part of their vote bank politics.