The idea of linking Aadhaar with the driving license is seemingly moving ahead and now the Modi government is moving in a focussed direction as Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that he is in talks with Nitin Gadkari to move ahead with this idea. Prasad holds the charge of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, while Gadkari is Road Transport and Highways Minister in the Modi-cabinet. This comes after the issue of fake license being raised by several states and the difficulties of tracking driving offenders.
Moreover, the minister spoke in the context of drunk drivers, who commit accidents and flew to other states and linking Aadhaar with the license will help to nab the driver as fingerprints cannot be changed even if a person changes the name. “I am in conversation with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to link Aadhaar card with license so that if a drunk driver escapes from one state to another by killing people, he would be caught. A person can change name not his/her fingerprints,” ANI quoted Prasad as saying on Tuesday.
The latest statement comes after Ravi Shankar Prasad in February had said that talks with Nitin Gadkari were going on to expedite the process of linking motor vehicle driving licenses with Aadhaar. “I am taking with Nitin Gadkari ji to finalise the linking up all the motor vehicle driving licences with Aadhaar,” Prasad said while addressing the NSE Tech Conclave 2018.
Also in February, Supreme Court-appointed committee on road safety headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice K S Radhakrishnan informed the court that centre is in the process of linking driving licenses with the Aadhaar and a software covering all states on a real-time basis is under preparation. The committee also informed the court that it had asked states and union territories (UTs) to forward road accident data for entire 2017.
The issue was even discussed in the Parliament in March, when MoS Road Transport and Highways, Mansukh Mandaviya, in a written reply to Rajya Sabha mentioned a report by National Informatics Centre on National Register for Driving Licenses, regarding fake licenses, which found the possibility of duplicate licenses, “as on January 5, 2015, out of total 6,70,16,851 driving licenses records available, 16,72,138 records were found to be possible duplicates spread over 7,99,923 clusters, ” Mandaviya informed the Parliament.
Earlier, the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, had said that 30 per cent of the driving licenses in the country are fake and bogus and the government was planning to digitise the procedure to obtain the license for driving and also Aadhaar linking to avoid duplication.
The proposed Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill provides for linking of driving license and vehicle registration with the Aadhaar-based platform and proposes heavy penalties for traffic violations.
Meanwhile, the government is moving ahead with Aadhaar linkage to various services and schemes with the legal backing of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.