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Aadhaar card cuts short life of crores of smart cards #WTFnews

— By FPJ Bureau | A

200 px

200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


New DelhiMany ministries that have either issued or were in the process of issuing smart cards to the beneficiaries of their various schemes are stuck by a stern PMO directive to use only the Aadhaar card for all purposes and avoid issuing separate smart cards.

The Health Ministry does not know what to do with 3.72 crore smart cards it has already activated to provide free health services to the below-poverty line families even as its officials said it may have to drop an expanded version of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, a health insurance scheme to cover 50 crore people, as the Aadhaar card will lack in all the information supposed to be embedded in the smart cards.

The PMO has made it clear that all new government schemes must use the Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer platform instead of smart cards and as such the ministries are sending queries on what to do about the specific information they need for certain schemes that may not be there in the Aadhaar card. The PM’s directive followed Parliament passing the Aadhaar Bill last month, pointing out that issue of multiple cards would led to duplication instead of linking all databases to Aadhaar.

The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry is stuck with its plan to roll out the unique identity cards to the disabled promised more than a year ago. The pilot project of issuing the I-cards was to begin in two months from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh and then spread in phased manner starting with 12 states.

The Aadhaar directive came just after the ministry finalised software for its I-D cards and floated tenders for printing them. “Our I-card project will continue as Aadhaar does not incorporate the information we need to create a database of the disabled,” an official said. Pointing out that the Aadhaar card cannot reflect the specific disability or pension scheme or scholarships to the disabled, he said the best way will be to issue the I-D cards and then link them to Aadhaar.

Another smart card project likely to be nixed is the Labour Ministry’s unorganised workers’ identification number or UWIN card. It would have enabled multiple ministries to provide services to such workers on a single card.

The PMO, however, shot it down, stating that the workers can use the Aadhaar number to avail benefits of different schemes. Unlike the Aadhaar card, which uses biometrics to specifically identify an individual, a smart card or the UWIN functions like a credit/debit card that carries a person’s details so that he or she can obtain certain benefits linked to it.

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