“Unique Identification Number – Aadhar” – An attempt to make Aadhar a real Aadhar for Digital India
(Fisrt in the series of developing India)
After much hyped ambitious project Aadhar of UPA, GOI, as per recent news is planning to issue national identity card to citizens of India on the basis of Natioanl population Register (NPR).
We already have so many cards like PAN card, DL, Voter Id card, Ration Card etc. and it’s an observed fact that none of them guarantee an evident information of the person to whom it has been issued. The only reason being that all of these ID or Address proofs forms basis to one another without any actual independent verification. People make ration cards and address it contains doesn’t even exist. People can have any address of their choice written on Driving license at number of places with the help of Agents. Voter Card carries a different story altogether where spelling mistake in name is a routine affair and surname and father’s name of someone else being printed is no big deal. PAN card carries name with different spelling and different date of birth. No doubt in such instances we have cases where murderers come outside on parole, go absconding, take admission in a college, get selected for a Govt job and start working as well. People have different documents under their names for tax evasion. We have ended up with so many Valid address and Identity documents where we have Different names, Different Father’s name, Different Date of birth and Different Address. And all these documents are valid documents for Identity and address.
Now with the entry of Aadhar card and the way it has been made, we have Name, DOB, Address of our choice on the basis of documents cited above. Aadhar card goes a further ahead and add Iris and finger prints of the person making it impossible to claim someone else but does that stop an illegal person staying in India to get an Aadhar card? Of-course with retina scan and finger prints we can’t claim to be someone else but does that solve our purpose of spending so much money on that farce? In short, we have an Finger prints and Iris scan of a person but we don’t know if the name and address of the person is real.
Going a lot further with addition of demographic details and already completed house listing in census 2011, GOI is aiming to issue National Identity Card. National Identy Card will use data of NPR (which in further will depend upon Census2011 and other projects initiated under NPR) and UIN (Which takes data from so many unverified documents). When there are cases of FIR’s resgistered by EC for making Voter card on the basis of Aadhar card issued to illegal migrants, tackling illegal migrants on such unverified data and a verified house listing seems a far fetched dream.
Even if we succeed in making a National Identity Card verified with all information it contains, is that all what we think a use of an identity card??
It’s not what these Cards bring in, it’s about what it doesn’t. What opportunity cost we bear. What could have been done and what we have ended up with. In absence of real time data of anything related to a common citizen of the country how can we expect to frame policies to be efficient effective and responsive. We don’t know people who don’t pay taxes. We don’t know total household incomes. We don’t know who actually fall under BPL, BPL card being issued on political motives. We don’t know who has become a part of creamy layer. We don’t know who is deprived of basic daily meal, health facility and education. We don’t know about senior citizens who don’t have any income and has been abandoned by their children. All the information we seek we accept upon declarations by people or an attestation from a local body at max. Even NPR depends upon declarations too.
Thus it becomes most necessary to make it an actual Validated Document issued to every citizen of the country.
Few deep thoughts to find answers and we can easily get a layout across our mind which I have tried to lay down here in three segments.
- What an AADHAR/National Identity Card should be?
- How useful it will be?
- What takes to make Aadhar a real AADHAR?
An Ideal AADHAR/National Identity Card
This section primarily deals with what information should aadhar card or UIN be able to provide to the user (which is obviously an Authority here i.e. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India), how different set of information can be clubbed at User interface and how respective set of databases can be integrated at backend to allow a single window updation as per requirement.
Once AADHAR/UIN/National Identity Card is available with full potential, it must produce atleast below set of information of a person on entering that Unique number in the system.
Name…………………Gender….............DOB…………Religion…………Caste…………… Marital Status………..Permanent Address…………..Communication Address……………
PAN No…………DL No. ……………….VOTER ID No…………, Passport No. ……………
SpouseUIN…………….….Child1 UIN……………..……………Child2 UIN…………………
Father UIN………….Mother UIN…………..,Sibling 1 UIN………...Sibling 2 UIN…………
Iris Scan…………Finger Prints…………Criminal Records………….BankA/c No…………
At user interface, user will have information as above with blue colored hyperlinks for more specific information. Hyperlinks in the system will take user directly to database of that particular department handling those information and records. Access to that database can be set as per requirement. For example:
PAN No HyperLink – Takes directly to data base pertaining to and maintained by Income tax department and provide ITR and other TAX details under this UIN. Amount of information accessed by PAN card hyperlink from UIN system, can be set as per requirement.
DL No HyperLink –Takes directly to database pertaining to and maintained by Transport office and provides its challan history as well as all vehicles registered under this UIN and DL.
Voter Id No HyperLink – Takes directly to database pertaining to and maintained by Election Commission and provides constituencies and voting history of this UIN.
Passport No Hyperlink – Takes directly to database pertaining to and maintained by passport office and provides all details about travel history of this UIN.
Family members UIN HyperLink – Takes directly to that members’ UIN home page and provide his/her details.
Criminal Records Yes/No Hyperlink – Take directly to database pertaining to and maintained by police & Judiciary and provides criminal records/FIR’s and proceedings going on under this UIN.
All departments like Transport, passport, Income Tax, Election Commission, Police and states will have their databases linked with National Database. Deptt and states will have capacities to access/maintain and update their respective data and any change will reflect in central database.
Anyone buying a new home, new car, birth, marriage, death, ITR or anything , will have to provide his UIN no. One can easily download the required form, fill it, put a thumb impression and send it to respective department, where they can get thumb impression checked and update the required database which will in turn update National database.
Once above information is in place, so many policies can be easily made and implemented. We just need to imagine what we can do if that set of information of every citizen is available in national database.
An optimal use of AADHAR/National Identity Card
- Biggest obstacle in achieving complete Financial inclusion is KYC of the people. Even RBI has relaxed it a lot for the financial inclusion but then it becomes a headache for the banks to implement it in this way. Once everyone will have UIN, there won’t be any need for any other documentation and Financial Inclusion will be just a step ahead. Even Banks are facing big trouble in delivering ATM cards and Pins to PMJDY accounts due to half cooked addresses.
- When it will be mandatory to quote UIN in all bank A/c, ITR, VAT/Sales Tax/Forex/Trade transactions, PAN card and PAN linked with UIN will help knowing exact tax implications of a person for the transaction through banking channel. With electricity and Internet infrastructure in place and further reduction of cash transaction with more usage of Cards, it will help in reducing black money in the system.
- With the help of Income link and Annual family income, it would be easier for Govt to frame policies in a better way.
- Ration Cards with family details and their respective UIN will be printed automatically.
- Voter Card will be automatically issued for a person attaining adulthood and will automatically be discarded on receiving death information which will trigger the same in other databases viz. Voter card, DL, passport etc.
- Same name, address, DOB will be there on all the documents pertaining to a person.
- When one will register for marriage, two UIN will be entered and automatically data of female will be added to new family. Her new address will be updated and a prompt message will be sent to her for her Voter card updation requirement. On taking a print-out of online form, putting a thumb impression and sending it to EC will do update her records in Voter details as well.
- Similarly a birth registration will need UIN of both the parents and will allot a new UIN for new born child.
- There will be national DL not state ones. A DL punched by traffic police for challan will be recorded in central database.
- Registration of cases/FIR’s etc will have UIN along with names and same will be updated in central database. Every UIN will have a verified address. From fingerprints, every individual could be traced. Character certificates or police verification certificate could be issued easily in case of national criminal database based upon UIN.
- Blood group details can help in aligning our Blood banks as per need. We will know how many people of different blood groups are there in India which can further be motivated for the cause.
- With education details in place, a national education database of citizens will be there. That Education level database can be used in numerous ways. National, State, District, Village level e-employment exchanges could be setup. Educational qualification details will help allocating jobs, skills as per requirement and will help in great extant in dealing with Unemployment. Data on the basis of education and employment would be available on real time basis and future policies could be made on that basis. Once employment exchanges will be made available with full potential, education qualification details will help even proper filling up of jobs under MNREGA. It will be easier to take further decision on reservation policies.
- Every new construction would need to be registered under Municpal Corporation records under UIN. Every new Construction on empty land while getting approval will have to be entered along with UIN of that person. New address allotted will reflect as secondary residential property and address of that UIN holding person. Similarly with commercial construction, similar details need to be entered. Once established like above, Census will become a checking mechanism instead of recording mechanism.
- Every person having an address will have a UIN and those who are homeless and living in slums, around railway stations and other abandoned places around cities, may be provided basic one room shelters to be built under Govt schemes on those abandoned places. UIN could be issued to them after that further jobs could be created for them to get them into higher strata of social life.
- No illegal stay would be possible and no forged documents would be possible to made.
- Based upon the data collected in UIN, free primary/secondary/vocational/skill education can be provided to needy and free health/travel facilities/pension can be provided to senior citizens who don’t have anyone to depend upon and no income.
- Individual can easily download form from respective department websites to update any data regarding Education, occupation or anything, put a thumb impression on the form and send to respective department where same would be updated on successful verification of thumb impression.
AADHAR – A real Aadhar
On the basis of house listing as per NPR and believing that it has covered all the houses in India, first of all allot a standard house address to every house. This is most important to have a verified address and address of every household. Standardization of house addresses is the need of the hour too as in villages, towns and small cities, still house numbers have not been allotted, ward numbers keep on changing and so on to make it more tougher to track.
Once we know places to live, we will mark people living there. In second step, people of a particular area will be informed for their day of verification and officer will visit each address and will take all family details correctly for the family residing on that particular address. Address will be recorded as verified and other details like Name, DOB etc of all members of the family will be recorded as per original documents shown for those details. Details of all family members will be recorded correctly and with care as this will be the final details being updated in UIN and will be used to update other records viz. PAN, DL, Voter cards with same details. This way every citizen will be recorded in UIN with his correct residence/permanent address. Anyone residing somewhere other than his permanent address need to get his communication address recorded which will be further checked at the end with whom UIN it has been registered. Another most important thing to be taken care of is, data collection and address verification need to be done by professionals not like any tom dick and harry like in the case of Aadhar. NPR is working on similar lines but still lack a proper layout and process of data collection is same by inviting tenders and allocating it to some agency like it had been done in case of Aadhar.
Since every detail has been taken care of while writing that layout, it still may not be inclusive. More thoughts put behind on the similar lines and a will for the same will ensure the basic step towards Digital India.