Aadhar Card - Should linking with Banks, Mobile & other services be mandatory?

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5 people are having a discussion on the topic (Arjun, Bhavna, Chintan, Devika and Ekta). The GD topic is Aadhar Card - Should linking with Banks, Mobile & other services be mandatory?


Category: Social, Political


Group Discussion Starts

Arjun: Hi everyone! We are here to discuss the gd topic of Aadhar Card- Should linking with services be mandatory? As we all know, Aadhar card is a 12-digit unique identity number having the biometric records of every Indian resident. It was launched in 2009. The objective was to have a unique identity for every Indian resident.


Devika: Hi. Thanks for the introduction on Aadhar card. In the last few years, we have seen that for a lot of services like banking, mobile etc, the mandatory KYC is Aadhar card. This has lead to companies forcing customers to link their Aadhar card with every service. Personally, I feel that this is wrong and every individual should not be pushed to link it.


Bhavna: I would like to beg to differ. Aadhar card gives a unique identity to every Indian citizen. It is an official document recognized by the Government of India. All other documents like passport, voter-id, PAN card, driving license etc are not present with everyone. Hence, Aadhar card would be a unique document which every Indian possesses and hence if linked across services, it can help collate data of all citizens.


Chintan: I agree with Devika. Mandatory linking should not be there. It causes unnecessary confusion among the people, and they have to run around linking their Aadhar card with mobile, banking services. This becomes difficult as people have to leave their daily jobs and do this activity.


Arjun: I agree that this is a tedious process. But still the government and companies are given ample processes for the linking. Aadhar card would become a unifying factor across every Indian, breaking social-economic barriers.


Devika: But at what cost? Aadhar is becoming a source of issue even for the poor who want food at ration outlets or gas which is a basic need to make food. How can this be forced on to people by making it compulsory? As it is, that people like daily wage workers, rag-pickers, farmers etc have to work every day for their daily bread. This tedious process of linking Aadhar would only create more problems.



Bhavna: But the benefit is that this is the official document which cuts across all departments, industries etc, as it is recognized by the government, and possessed by almost every Indian.


Ekta: But is it justified to block banking services of people? Or can you cut mobile services just because you have not linked your Aadhar? This forcefulness and compulsion is the issue. Having deadlines like 31st March is something which is creating pressure on people.


Arjun: Yes, but the Supreme court has intervened and removed the deadline date. Hence, even though the process of linking is fine but the deadline was perhaps too acute to get implemented.


Devika: Leave apart the linking part. Is the Aadhar card secure? With all the personal information like photograph, mobile number, biometric finger-print, retain-scan, address etc, should such confidential information be even shared everywhere? There have been alleged cases where people have been selling Aadhar information at a nominal price. This can lead to several frauds, crimes etc and that too without the knowledge of the person whose document is being used.


Chinta: Imagine an old couple living in a small town in India. How will they link their cards to the bank or go to a telecom store or get their ration cards linked? And if they don’t, the services would be blocked. Instead of making the life simpler, it is causing more issues.


Bhavna: But this is an one time effort. Yes, India is a massive country with a diverse population across the length & breadth with several social, economic, political barriers. But once Aadhar card is linked, it would become very easy for the government to monitor and manage its resources and services. This would give the government a strong control over illegalities, frauds and help nab those who are cheating the system.


Devika: Identity cards of other countries also have micro-chips storing unique codes for every individual. Hence, those cards are still secure and safe. But Aadhar is having all information simply printed out. How can that be safe? Aadhar cards don’t even have a hologram or any unique feature which can make it a “unique” entity.


Ekta: Also, there are close to 20 lakh homeless people in India and hence do not have an address. What about their Aadhar card? It is a good concept of having a unique card but with several loopholes.

Arjun: Yes there are certain ambiguities in the process. But we must remember that this process is for 1.2 billion people. Hence, if the effort of each individual is working towards the same goal, the objective can be achieved smoothly.


Conclusion

Aadhar card is a government backed unique identification number which is in-place for close to 1.1 billion people in India. Whether linking Aadhar card compulsorily is required, can be debated. But the government needs to ease with the deadlines as this cannot be priority for people, leaving their daily jobs.


Facts related to the Group Discussion Topic

1. 1.19 billion Aadhar card holders in India as of 2017 end.
2. Aadhar card budget is Rs8,800 Crore.
3. Deadline of 31st March 2018 has been revoked by the Supreme Court of India.
4. Aadhar card has to be linked to mobile, banking, EPFO, ration, kerosene, LPG, digital locker, pensions schemes etc.
5. Aadhar card has information like name, address, retina scan, finger-print biometric, photograph, unique number.

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