Monday, Oct 03, 2022

Finance Secy Appeals States To Optimise Aadhaar Use Within Legal Framework

Somanathan said Indians must be proud of the fact that Aadhaar was created by India, not copied from the western world

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Finance Secretary T V Somanathan on Wednesday appealed states and Union Territories to optimise use of Aadhaar within the existing legal framework for improving delivery of services to people.

While speaking at a workshop organised by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Somanathan said Indians must be proud of the fact that Aadhaar was created by India, not copied from the western world.

He said that everybody shares a social security number in the United States and it is not a state secret there.

"We already have a supreme court judgment on this subject and there is a law. So, within the contours of that law and sticking within the parameters of the law, we should unabashedly do everything that will help us to maximize the potential of Aadhaar without having any sort of apprehension that something is wrong," Somanathan said.

He appealed the government departments to maximize the potential of the scientific and administrative achievement -- Aadhaar.

Government think-tank Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that Aadhaar has played a critical role in bridging the digital divide empowering beneficiaries, bringing transparency and saving a vast sum of public money.

He said that Aadhaar is not only the bedrock of various government schemes and service deliveries to more than 350 central and 500 state and Union Territory schemes but has also made monumental exemplary impact on the digitisation of public infrastructure which has enabled more inclusive development.

Ministry of electronics and IT secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma said that the government is working on a data protection law which will address privacy concerns of people.

He said that more than 133 crore Aadhaar have been issued as on April 2022 with 99.9 per cent plus of the adult population in the country enrolled in Aadhaar.

"From farmers to students, almost every resident of India is benefiting from Aadhaar receiving both government and non- government related services. Let us join hands together to play a stellar role in achieving the goal of making India a Rs 1 trillion digital economy in the next five years," Sharma said.

UIDAI CEO Saurabh Garg said various untapped sectors and gaps can be exploited by using digital identity to reach the last mile of users and achieve universal inclusion, both social and financial.

He said that going forward UIDAI will focus on five major areas which are resident centricity and ease of access, enhancing Aadhaar usage, strengthening the credibility of Aadhaar, upgradation of the Aadhaar technology stack and international outreach of Aadhaar architecture.