According to reports, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court that it is willing to extend the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar card to avail various services and welfare schemes. Reports say, the extended deadline for mandatory linking of services will be from December 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) reportedly clarified on Monday that the Aadhaar data is completely secure. UIDAI clarified that there has been no data breach and further explained that Aadhaar number is not a secret number and it can be shared with authorised agencies to avail services. Further, it added that Aadhaar numbers made public on websites do not pose any threat as biometric information is fully secure and encrypted.
BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has reportedly said that Aadhaar was rushed and foisted on the country by authorities that failed to first create a proper ecosystem. Information of crores of people was made available online “with kind of a canned narrative...without addressing...issues relating to privacy”, he said, adding, “Data privacy, and privacy in the digital world is not an elitist issue.”
Just a few days ago, it was reported that the Madras High Court allowed a petitioner to file Income Tax returns without quoting Aadhaar. But now it has taken a u-turn and has reportedly said no to filing of the same without Aadhaar.
The Railway Ministry has reportedly said that Aadhaar-based biometric attendance system will be installed across its zone and divisions by January 2018. A senior rail official reportedly said that the system is being implemented to avoid late coming to office. Reports say, the system is already in place in the railway board and few zonal headquarters.
UIDAI tweeted on Thursday that from December 1 people can choose to verify Aadhaar without having to give biometrics to telecom operators. Reports say, Aadhaar OTP-based authentication will be enabled to allow re-verification for existing users. Telecom operators have been directed to offer the facility for the convenience of those with disability, old age or illness. The Centre on Thursday reiterated that the deadline to connect all mobile numbers with Aadhaar will be February 6.
By 1 Dec 2017, you can also choose to verify your mobile SIM with Aadhaar without giving your biometrics to Telecom Service Providers. pic.twitter.com/zcCKYbYgwP— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) November 2, 2017
While the debate around linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers and PAN card is still raging on, the Madras High Court on Tuesday reportedly allowed a petitioner to file her income tax returns without quoting the Aadhaar number. One Preethi Mohan had moved a plea, which relied upon an apex court decision in which the court had imposed a partial stay on operation of section 139AA of the Income Tax act, which concerns linking Aadhaar with IT returns.
On hearing a plea challenging the Centre on Aadhaar and mobile number linking, the Supreme Court on Monday reportedly asked the Department of Telecommunication and the telecom companies to file a reply within four weeks. Meanwhile, while hearing a plea filed by the West Bengal government against the Centre’s decision, the SC asked how a state government can question a decision that was passed in the parliament. Further, it reportedly said that the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee can file a plea as a citizen.
According to reports, all 800 families of Gaindi Khata village near Haridwar in Uttarakhand have the same birthday on their Aadhaar cards. Most of the families of Van Gujjars in the village share the birth date 1st January. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has faced a major setback as earlier also several reports of similar incidents emerged when there were mismatching data on Aadhaar cards including photos and birthday.
Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal has reportedly moved the Supreme Court against the Centre for making the linkage of Aadhaar mandatory for all government schemes. The state government has reportedly objected to linking the Aadhaar with phone numbers and bank accounts, say reports. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier said that she wouldn’t link Aadhaar with her phone number stating the Centre can cancel her phone connection. Reports suggest that the apex court is taking the plea for hearing on Monday along with other cases filed against the move.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly opposed the Central government’s move to link mobile number to Aadhaar. “I will not link my Aadhaar with my phone number under any circumstance. If the Centre disconnects my phone, let them do it” she reportedly said. She reportedly raised a question on what the Centre plans to do with all this private information.
Following media reports quoting an RTI reply that said RBI has not issued any order, the apex bank on Saturday reportedly said Aadhaar linkage with bank accounts is mandatory. The central bank, in its statement, reportedly said, “The Reserve Bank clarifies that, in applicable cases, linkage of Aadhaar number to bank account is mandatory under the Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 published in the Official Gazette on June 1, 2017.”
According to reports, Cracker sellers have asked customers who come to buy crackers to their godowns to bring Aadhaar and PAN. However, this is applicable to those who don’t have a GST number, they reportedly said. Notably, GST number has been made mandatory for buying crackers since the Centre implemented GST from July this year.
An inter-ministerial committee has reportedly recommended to the Ministry of External Affairs that Aadhaar should be made mandatory for the registration of NRI marriages in India. Reports suggest that the proposal is aimed at protecting the rights of women who are deserted by their NRI husbands or become victims of domestic violence and dowry harassment abroad.
Speaking at an event in Chennai on Monday, social justice and development secretary G Latha Krishna Rao reportedly said States including Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry did not submit any data regarding the linking of SC/ST students’ Aadhaar numbers with their bank accounts. She reportedly said the Centre will release the financial aid for them only if the States submit the data in a couple of weeks. If the details are not shared within a stipulated time, the aid will be cancelled, she reportedly added.
According to reports, the Centre on Saturday set Feb 2018 as deadline for linking Aadhaar number with mobile numbers. It said all SIM cards that weren’t linked to an Aadhaar card would be deactivated after Feb 2018. All SIM Cards have to be verified within a year from the date of the Supreme Court order on Feb 2017, and all unlinked phones will be deactivated after Feb 2018.
The Unique Identification Authority of India has shared a video which has instructions on how to lock an individual’s Aadhaar biometric data - fingerprint and iris data. The Aadhaar Biometric locking system allows users to lock and temporarily unlock their biometrics. This tutorial video by UIDAI instructs the steps.
According to reports, the government has extended the deadline by four months for linking PAN and Aadhaar numbers to December 31. The Centre had earlier extended the deadline for mandatory Aadhaar for social benefits to December 31. The government had earlier warned of stringent measures against those who fail to link their PAN and Aadhaar numbers before August 31.