“How can you make Aadhaar card mandatory when we have passed an order to make it optional?” the Supreme Court questioned the government on Friday.
On March 8, the Centre had announced that the Aadhaar card was a requirement for women in the Below Poverty Line category to access free LPG connections.
Just a day before this, the 12-digit number was also made compulsory for midday meals at government-run schools.
The Human Resource Development Ministry supported the move by claiming that the unique identification process had detected four lakh “ghost” students.
The reality, however, is that children without a UID number, especially migrants, may face the brunt of the Centre’s move.
Exclusion on these lines is already taking place. People who have lost their fingerprints due to old age and manual labour are being denied food rations. Despite recording your biometrics, the system cannot prove that you are really you.
Moreover, the rate of failure when it comes to inability to authenticate a person with their fingerprints is far from insignificant. In Telangana, for instance, it’s an alarming 36% for the rural job guarantee scheme, says this report.
The video above tracks other problems surrounding Aadhaar, including those that could gravely compromise one’s privacy.
Data leakage can – and does – take place at many levels, without firewalls having to be breached, as this example shows.
To be sure, not everyone may be concerned about their personal information being made public. According to a reader of Scroll.in, “There is nothing wrong in making Aadhaar mandatory for everything. It can solve many issues. Think about it – 70 years of privacy and what have we achieved? May be privacy is overrated. The only things Indians have done in privacy is make babies, putting a strain on the environment.”