Apropos of the editorial “Guarding Aadhaar data” (FE, March 4), the Aadhaar Bill seems to be taking due care to prevent off-hand misuse of biometric data by any one.
Careful with the Aadhaar law
Apropos of the editorial “Guarding Aadhaar data” (FE, March 4), the Aadhaar Bill seems to be taking due care to prevent off-hand misuse of biometric data by any one. It ensures that “no core biometric information, collected or created shall be shared with anyone for any reason whatsoever or used for any purpose other than generation of Aadhaar numbers and authentication under this Act”. While the sanctity of these Aadhaar cards has been over-emphasised, there have been disturbing media reports that hundreds of Aadhaar cards were not delivered and were found lying either in some nearby drains or at other vacant public places. Such a sorry state of affairs in sensitive matters does not augur well. However, it is felt that there is nothing wrong even if these are being relied for eKYC, DigiLocker, money transfers, etc, as their forgery is virtually ruled out. Moreover, it would be naive to suspect a court order, for sharing of information either in response to some police case or when national security demands it. Let us be fair and mature enough when interpreting provisions of Section 33(2). What else could have been the purpose in making of Aadhar a National Mission if data can’t be gainfully utilised even by the government or our national security/intelligence agencies? Incidentally, one may be reminded of the US laws whereby the personal data of each and every US national as also that of person entering the US is freely accessed by its national security agencies without any murmuring as is happening in India nowadays. Perhaps, this could be more a matter of trust and faith the people of that country have in their own security agencies. Why can’t we emulate them and stop looking at its various information sharing aspects through the prism of usual suspicion only? Let us also introduce some impregnable in-built safety measures in this ultra modern IT era that ensure prevention of misuse of its crucial biometric and geographical data, “by any one, at any time”.
Do justice to Budget proposals
Apropos of the column “Putting rural economy back on track” by Rajesh Shukla and Adite Banerjie (FE, March 4), obviously, the budget is growth-oriented and meant for pushing rural economy. In order to derive the envisaged results, it is imperative to focus on, first, raising literacy level, with special attention to technology based education. Free or less expensive education needs to be strengthened to motivate the youth to look for higher education. Second, make the healthcare system affordable for the economically backward. Focused drive for eradicating open defecation, still common in remote areas, is the need. Third, landless tenants, agriculture labourers, small and marginal farmers must get their due relief from rural distress and debt. The budget benefits should not be skewed towards the wealthy farmers. Fourth, local self-government needs to be more empowered to ensure fast execution of reforms. Implementation of the schemes and welfare measures are always prone to malpractice and to curb that, effective awareness campaigns must be organised. The fruits of the programmes proposed in the budget need to be delivered to the intended beneficiaries.