Aruna Sharma, Governance Democracy & Politics Magazine, April Issue
- PAN Card not linked with Aadhar card may be invalid after December
- You might not get SIM card Without Aadhar
- UGC made Aadhaar card mandatory for students to get their degrees
Government seems completely committed to make our very own Aadhar to be the most potent identification instrument for Indian citizen, just like social security number (SSN) in US. Taking that journey forward government is all set to make Aadhar compulsory for array of processes and instruments, right from PAN to Education institutions and mobile SIM cards. Aadhaar may become the only card required to identify a person, replacing Voter ID and PAN, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently said in the Lok Sabha recently. The unique identification number Aadhaar may become the single identify card in future, he added.
Most Important in this would be the war against black money as, permanent account numbers (PAN) not linked to Aadhaar cards will likely become invalid after December 31. Government sources have revealed that the Centre is trying to widen the use of the 12-digit biometric identity project and end use of PAN cards obtained fraudulently.
“The government has arrived at the tentative cutoff date of December 31 as it believed the Aadhaar enrollment process will be complete by the end of the year,” an official quoted to a national daily. “Considering that 98% of the adult population is Aadhaar card holders, a time frame till the end of the year is more than adequate for linking PAN with Aadhaar,” said State Bank of India group’s chief economic adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh.
Government has also decided to make Aadhar card mandatory for filing income tax return and applying for a PAN card through amendments to the finance bill. Recently, the I-T department had announced a mobile app for paying taxes and tracking of refunds. It had also said it was considering issuing PANs on real time basis using Aadhaar biometric.
“Income Tax department is considering issuing of Permanent Account Number (PAN) on a real time basis using Aadhaar’s e-KYC facility. The proposal is at an initial stage of consideration,” Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar had said in a written reply in Lok Sabha on March 10. Aadhaar-based e-KYC facility would allow individuals or entities wanting to apply for PAN to verify details such as date of birth or address by way of biometric identification using thumb impressions.
No Aadhar No SIM Card
On the other hand government is poised to link Aadhar with mobile SIM cards. So far, more than 111 crore Aadhar numbers have been issued. After making Aadhaar number mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns, the government is soon going to make it compulsory for obtaining SIM cards too, media reports say. A media report said that the Department of Telecom has sent a notice to telecom companies asking them to ensure that the SIM card of the mobile subscribesrs is linked to his/her Aadhaar card.
The DoT has asked the telecom operators to complete the process within a year, the media report said. Importantly All the existing customers will have to be re-verified by the telecom companies. Both pre-paid and post-paid users will have to fill in the re-verification under Aadhar card E-KYC process. The customers will be verified through SMSes. Telecom companies will send verification codes to its customers.
Aadhar Mandatory For University Degrees
In another attempt by the government to make the admission process more transparent and free of fraud applicants, University Grants Commission (UGC) has made inclusion of Aadhaar number in degrees and certificates mandatory for the students. In addition to this UGC has also directed the universities to include the picture of the student.
A certain report suggests that UGC, in light of the Finance bill passed in Lok Sabha, has made the changes. An official said “This notice from UGC comes in addition to the security features included in the degrees presented to students.” UGC official marked that UGC also directed the universities to include student’s photograph and aadhaar number on certificates and degrees issued by the university to the student.
Adding aadhaar number will bring uniformity and transparency in the system of higher education across the country. Mark sheets and certificates with security features will prevent the duplication. “You are also requested to inscribe the name of the institution in which a student is enrolled as well as the mode of delivery (regular, part-time or distance),” Official said.
He further added “The standards applied for accreditation will be qualitative and can be adapted and applied to any of the types of educational institutions affiliated. The awarding of accreditation will signify that the school has met standards at an acceptable level and is willing to both maintain those standards and to improve in areas pointed out to them.”
Children Without Aadhaar Will Continue To Get Midday Meals
Children will not be deprived of mid-day meals if they do not have Aadhaar card, government said. The issue was raised by Congress leader Motilal Vohra during the Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, saying the government has made Aadhaar mandatory under the mid-day meal scheme. “It seems the government has decided to take away the free food scheme from school children,” he said, adding that about 12 crore children are enrolled under the scheme. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar refuted the suggestion saying all beneficiaries will get mid-day meal and the government will ensure that all the beneficiaries get the 12-digit unique identification number also.
“I want to tell this House that no one will be deprived of mid-day meals. Everybody will get mid-day meal and they will get Aadhaar card as well,” the Minister said. He said a large number of beneficiaries already have the Aadhaar and facilites will be made to enroll the remaining students as well. Javadekar said in cases where facilities for Aadhaar cannot be created, the state governments will provide the unique numbers to the students. He said that since the linking of Aadhaar with mid-day meal scheme has been started, leakages have come down.