Aadhar project slows down after public support diminishes

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Aadhar project slows down after public support diminishes

Satarupa Bhattacharya

The Aadhar project has enrolled over fifty core persons to date but, four years from the start of enrollment, progress is slowing down and public support is diminishing.

Project problems are slowing progress as citizens fail to turn up for registrations in the light of reducing public support.

Aadhar project, also known as UID (unique identification), is an initiative rolled out by the government of India, under which a unique number is provided to every Indian citizen for identification. The record of each individual will be up to 5MB of data. As much as 4TB of data is generated when the enrollments are at peak. It expects 600 million registrations or enrollments by the end of 2014.

To hit these targets public support is vital. Concerns over civil liberties and security led to the

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scrapping of the UK’s attempt to give citizens an ID card containing biometric and biographic information. This led to hundreds of millions of pounds of wasted investments.

Nitish Banswara, local Aadhar implementation cell in-charge for Chinsurah Block, West Bengal said severe issues hampering the progress of this massive project, has caused citizens to become lax enough to dismiss the Aadhar as sham. “Most of the local residents in our area failed to turn up even on the second and third dates for registrations. This seems justified in that the project seems to head nowhere as of now.”

While Aadhar has made significant progress there are issues slowing things.

The main authorizing website has witnessed a number of duplications, making things confusing to the public. In fact, the UIDAI official website offers two separate data sets relating to the enrollment progress in the area of Rae Bareli alone.

Another setback for the project is that the Aadhar numbers are not set to be recognized as residential proofs due to issues that have arisen from data protection.

The Intelligence Bureau has also identified a major loophole in the UIDAI processes in which any individual with a number can introduce other individuals without any form of documentation to acquire an identity number. This is a security concern.

Then the Parliamentary Standing Committee, concerned with finance, has rejected the National Identification Authority of India (NIAI) Bill on the grounds of high costs and other concerns related to the national security, duplication of National Population Register's (NPR) activities and privacy. The bill was intended to give legal backing to the project and to support the use of biometrics to generate the identity number.