“When we informed the school principal that Parliament is yet to pass the Bill, she categorically told us that there was no harm in obtaining the card. The deadline is July-end,” said Maya Nair (name changed). Nair’s child studies in an ICSE school in the suburbs. J S Saharia, additional chief secretary in charge of school education, said while no child will be denied admission for not having an Aadhaar card, the department has informed all government and aided schools that teacher’s salaries will not be paid if every child does not have an Aadhaar card by May-end. “Since we are providing funds we want to know exactly how many children are there in school,” he said.
Sources in the oil marketing companies said they are being compelled by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to fast-track the implementation of Aadhaar. “We have sought clarification from the ministry as we have received objections from consumers,” said sources.
Several Mumbaikars are miffed with the government forcing them to get an Aadhaar card. “I have serious objections to the Aadhaar card as I believe it will infringe on my privacy, providing access to every piece of information about me. Since I do not want government subsidies why should I be coerced into getting an Aadhaar card? It is akin to creating a police state,” said Snehal Shah, a stock investor.
Janhit Manch, which has complained to the Centre on the forceful implementation of Aadhaar, said the Unique Identification Authority of India ( UIDAI), with its vast implications, is not controlled by any legislation. “There is no statute to control how this information can be used or by whom and under what conditions. There is no law, and no parliamentary or judicial supervision. What is the remedy to a citizen who finds his info has been misused? The scheme, though said to be ‘voluntary’, is becoming compulsory due to such directives,” said Utsal Karani, secretary, Janhit Manch.
Times View: Stop this harassment
It’s unfortunate-and perhaps also inevitable-that a government scheme aimed at giving recognition to the citizen and streamlining administration has ended up in adding to the citizen’s harassment. The government should crack the whip on recalcitrant service providers, who have made having this card a prerequisite despite knowing that only an insignificant percentage of the population has got this card. It should also stop giving confusing and self-contradictory directives before ensuring every citizen has got an Aadhaar card.
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