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118 Cr People Have Aadhaar, Any Order Against it Will Hurt Them, Govt Tells SC

The widespread reach of Aadhaar has been underlined by the government to tell the Court that any adverse order against the validity of Aadhaar will jeopardise interests of millions of Indians, who are beneficiaries of various social welfare schemes.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:November 4, 2017, 12:02 AM IST
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118 Cr People Have Aadhaar, Any Order Against it Will Hurt Them, Govt Tells SC
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New Delhi: The Central government, in its 113-page affidavit in the Supreme Court, has highlighted how extensive the proliferation and coverage of Aadhaar has become in India, with 118.64 crore population having already enrolled with the UID scheme.

The widespread reach of Aadhaar has been underlined by the government to tell the Court that any adverse order against the validity of Aadhaar will jeopardise interests of millions of Indians, who are beneficiaries of various social welfare schemes.

Stating that the country has wholeheartedly accepted Aadhaar, the government, in its new affidavit, said that the 12-digit UID "provides a lifelong identifier to a resident".

Running across several pages, the affidavit has, in fact, pointed out how big the Aadhaar scheme has become during the pendency of the case since 2012.

As of Friday, the total number of Aadhaar numbers generated stands at 118.64 odd Crores.

"Therefore, this means that the technology has generated more than 118.64 crore unique ID numbers of individuals after a process of de-duplication carried out against the entire database of Aadhaar number holders," the affidavit says at the outset.

It, then, adds that as on Friday, the total number of Aadhaar based authentications is 12,168,022,172.

"Therefore, the Indian population has used Aadhaar based authentication over 1216 odd Crore times to authenticate their identities and avail of benefits and services under the Aadhaar Act and/or other laws," underscored the government

Over 12.64 Crore bank accounts have been opened using Aadhaar based e-KYC service, apart from over 54.25 Crpre bank accounts having been seeded with Aadhaar as on October 15.

"54.25 Cr. Jan Dhan accounts are estimated to cover 99.9% of the households in the country. Of the newly opened 30.54 crore Jan Dhan accounts, over 18.97 crore accounts have used Aadhaar," claimed the government.

It, then, states that over 9.54 crore active NREGA workers of the existing database of 10.93 crore active workers have seeded their Aadhaar numbers and are receiving their daily wages directly in their bank accounts.

Further, Aadhaar number have been linked to over 1.48 crore pensioners of the existing database of 2.83 crore pensioners, who are receiving their pensions directly in their bank accounts.

"So far, over 1.36 crore residents have obtained passport using their Aadhaar. Over 50 crore SIMs have been issued using Aadhaar e-KYC service such a large scale," said the government in its affidavit.

About Aadhaar's seeding in EPFO, the affidavit said Aadhaar number have been linked to over 2.26 crore UAN of the existing database of 11.99 crore UAN.

The government underscored that the second highest identity document coverage in India is Voter Ids, which is 60 crore compared to 118.64 crore Aadhaar cards.

It further stated that total recorded savings to the Government of India from just one scheme viz. the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme on account of Aadhaar has been Rs 57,029 crore in just three years i.e. 2014-15 to 2016-17.

"It is apparent that except few individuals who are before this Hon'ble Court, the country as a whole has whole heartedly accepted Aadhaar, which had already become functional long back," maintained the government in the Court.

Citing the ambit of Aadhaar, the government cautioned that if the notifications to link Aadhaar with varous schemes are stayed, "irreparable injury would be caused to a large number of vulnerable classes of Indians who are dependent on their subsidies and benefits reaching them on account of their unique identification through Aadhaar."

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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