One of the most contentious government documents in recent times is the Aadhar Card. There have been calls to scrap the Aadhar Card and in the recent past there were reports that the government would scrap the card completely.
Then there have been Supreme Court decisions and earlier this year the SC directed the Centre to immediately withdraw all notifications making Aadhaar cards mandatory for availing benefits under social security schemes.
The fact remains that the Aadhar project does not have parliamentary approval and hence its validity in the use of public services is being questioned.
The government has now made it clear this week that Aadhaar number was not mandatory for transfer of subsidy amount of LPG cylinder and the option of providing a bank account was also available under the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL).
Also Read: How to apply for a Aadhar card here
As things stand individuals who have not made the Aadhar Card are not sure whether to have one or not.
The few advantages of having an Aadhar Card is the fact that it serves as an Address Proof and an identity proof, especially for those who do not have a passport or a driving license.
But, there seems to be several hidden advantages as well. According to reports in the DNA, a new Aadhar-linked facility, Maharashtra government has developed an online repository for important documents like certificates, degrees, etc which are frequently required to apply for any job and other services.
The "Maha Digital Locker" will put an end to hassle of physically carrying important documents like education and property certificates.
We do not know how many such initiatives linked to the Aadhar Card would be carried out in the future.
The Real Issue with the Aadhar Card
The real issue was the concern raised by people that the Aadhar Card could easily be made by illegal immigrants, who could then achieve legal status in India. There was a Bill that was introduced to make the Aadhar Card legal, but, the Standing Parliamentary Committee in December 2011, rejected the draft National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010. There were rejected because there was a feeling that there was no clarity of purpose, coverage of non-citizens, and the committee also thought there the need for multiple cards will not be overcome by Aadhaar. Data theft and cost of maintaining the services are other big concerns of the Aadhar Card.
The others concerns are with regards to the biometrics. Many experts say that it is possible to replicate finger prints using artificial materials and hence an individual holding the right credentials, might suddenly end-up showing no match found.
The costs involved in maintaining the project is also now known. The inability to really make the Aadhar Card a legally valid document have also raised concerns. An amount in excess of Rs 3000 crores has already been spent on the UIDAI (Aadhar) project.
There seems to little sense in scrapping a project which has already seen amounts in excess of Rs 3000 crores. It looks certain that someday the Bill will get parlianmentary nod. So, if you have not yet made one, it's better you get the Aadhar Card done, as it could be an important document in the near future.