From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : About the amendment
Mains level : Aadhaar and associated issues
- In a major move aimed at making Aadhaar making people friendly, the Union Cabinet has approved “The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019” to replace the earlier ordinance.
- The Ordinance amongst other things envisaged strengthening of the Aadhaar Act as per the directions of the Supreme Court and recommendations of Justice B.N.Srikrishna Committee.
Details of the Amendment Bill
The salient features of the amendments are as follows—
- Provides for voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of Aadhaar number holder;
- Provides for use of twelve-digit Aadhaar number or its alternative virtual identity.
- Gives an option to children who are Aadhaar number holders to cancel their Aadhaar number on attaining the age of eighteen years;
- Permits the entities to perform authentication only when they are compliant with the standards of privacy and security specified by the Authority
- Allows the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002;
- Proposes deletion of section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to use of Aadhaar by private entities;
- Prevents denial of services for refusing to, or being unable to, undergo authentication;
- Provides for establishment of Unique Identification Authority of India Fund;
- Provides for civil penalties, its adjudication, and appeal thereof in regard to violations of Aadhaar Act.
- The decision would enable UIDAI to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhar.
- No individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament.