The Supreme Court of India today issued a directive asking the Central government to withdraw all its earlier orders to make Aadhar mandatory for the beneficiaries to avail government services. This has come a sigh of relief to all those do not have the Aadhar number or do not possess a bank-account linked to their Aadhar number.
Aadhar which is aimed at social security benefits and subsidies based on eligibility through direct benefit transfer started in January 2009. This much touted platform of the UPA government with an objective of eliminating corruption in the country has drew much criticism as people vent their ire at Aadhar enrollment centers across the country regularly. There were instances of massive protests demanding issuance of subsidized gas without Aadhaar cards.
The Aadhaar, is a 12 number digital identity of a citizen and can be instantly verified and accessed online at the point of service anytime, anywhere. Being the largest biometric database in the world, Aadhar has 750 million people enrolled so far and total 1.25 billion people would enroll by December 2015 at the current pace. The concept was first proposed and conceptualized by BJP prior to forming a government in 1998, in view of illegal immigrants and effective distribution of social security benefits. But the scheme was finally implemented by the UPA II government under Nandan Nilekni’s authority.