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Aadhaar Watch: Constitution bench on Aadhaar, 67 Cr bank accounts linked and more

An overview of recent news related to Aadhaar, which points towards the increase in government schemes being linked to the scheme, and issues faced by citizens:

SC Constitution bench will hear challenges to Aadhaar on July 18 and 19

Chief Justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud have fixed July 18 and 19 as the dates when a 5-judge Constitution bench will hear challenges to the Aadhaar Act, 2016, including the prickly issue of Aadhaar violating citizen’s privacy rights and the issue of Aadhaar having been made mandatory for several social welfare schemes. Last month, the Supreme Court had partially stayed the Aadhaar-PAN link and had ruled that the Indian government cannot cancel PAN cards if citizens don’t link an Aadhaar number to their PAN card. Read more about this story on The Indian Express.

67 crore bank accounts linked to Aadhaar, says IT Minister

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that thus far 67 crore out of the 110 bank accounts in the country have been linked to Aadhaar. The Jan Dhan Yojana accounts are also part of this. He once again mentioned that the linking of Aadhaar and mobile numbers to Jan Dhan accounts have led to savings of Rs 50,000 crore, which has already been questioned and found to be erroneous. In fact, the Government of India itself had contested this figure. More on this on The Times of India.

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Omidyar Network provides ISB $2 million grant to study impact of Aadhaar

Omidyar Network has provided the Indian School of Business (ISB) a grant of $2 million for a period of two years for an academic study of Aadhaar and its implications. For this purpose, ISB has launched what it has named the digital identity research initiative (DIRI). Researchers and academics from both India and abroad will be part of DIRI. More about this story on TechObserver.

Private operators banned from Aadhaar enrolment across Karnataka

Aadhaar enrolment carried out by private operators has been stopped across Karnataka from June 28. This after a former section officer in the state education department and four others have been charged under the Aadhaar Act for issuing fabricated attestations of identity proof and residential address, at an Aadhaar enrollment centre in Bangalore, last month. While, back in October 2016, the Food and Civil Supplies Department had discovered a racket of linking fictitious Aadhaar numbers with bogus Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cards in Bangalore. Note that recently, UIDAI had directed states to ensure that all Aadhaar enrollment agencies – including private agencies – are moved to government or municipal premises by August 31, 2017. Read up more about this on ETtech.

Banks asked to facilitate Aadhaar enrollment

UIDAI has asked all scheduled banks, including private sector lenders, to provide Aadhaar enrollment and updating facilities to customers within the bank premises. UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that this move was needed to reduced customers’ difficulty in completing Aadhaar enrolment and subsequently linking with bank account. More on this on ETtech.

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Aadhaar to be made mandatory for buying and selling property?

CEO of UIDAI Ajay Bhushan Pandey has said that Aadhaar will be made mandatory for buying and selling property to reduce property disputes and litigation. However, note that no official notification in this regard has been issued by either the Government of India or UIDAI thus far. This is especially surprising, given that less than a month back a letter claiming that the Government of India is considering linking Aadhaar with digitised land records from 1950 was deemed fake by the Government, and a police complaint was also filed. More about this on FactorDaily.

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