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Aadhaar Watch: Assam, Delhi HC petition, PDS grains diversion and more

An overview of recent developments in the use and misuse of Aadhaar, reported vulnerabilities, and ongoing cases and or petition in the courts.

Assam will begin Aadhaar enrolment soon

Assam will soon begin enrolment for Aadhaar. 42 enrolment centres will be set up in Kamrup Metropolitan district, where the state capital Dispur is situated. Aadhaar enrolment in the state was deferred after student and social organisations demanded its implementation only after the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) was completed. More on GPlus.

AP government website leaks Aadhaar of SC students

An Andhra Pradesh state government website is leaking Aadhaar of SC students. The website is meant to help students learn about opportunities for scholarships in government schools. More on HuffPost India. Read our coverage of data breaches in Andhra Pradesh here.

Mobile operators seek more time to implement Face Authentication

Mobile operators sought more time to implement the UIDAI’s face authentication feature, as biometric machines are not yet ready for the feature. Operators under the Apex Advisory Council for Telecom in India have said the feature should be implemented two months after the device ecosystem is ready, and further that no penalties should be imposed on them till such time. More on Business Today.

Also read: UIDAI adds Face Authentication and fresh set of issues with it

Aadhaar not mandatory to apply online for NET or JEE

The National Testing Agency (NTA) clarified that Aadhaar is not mandatory, but is only one of the types of identification documents. An earlier UGC-NET bulletin also said that other identification documents such as passport number, ration card number, bank account number or any other valid government identity number are valid as ID. The same provisions are also applicable for JEE (Main) 2019. More on Indian Express.

Three held in Lucknow for misusing Aadhaar to divert PDS grains

A Special Task Force (STF) of the UP police arrested three persons for their alleged misuse of Aadhaar to divert grains meant for the poor through the Public Distribution Service (PDS) system. The arrested allegedly replaced Aadhaar of beneficiaries with those of impostors to divert ration in eight districts of the state. Officials said over 1.8 lakh fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 20 crore were made between May–July 2018. More on Indian Express.

Delhi HC registers suo motu PIL over Aadhaar misuse

Concerned over “major loopholes” in the Aadhaar verification and linkage system, the Delhi HC last week registered a suo motu PIL seeking the response of the UIDAI, MeitY, and the Ministry of Home Affairs. The order came in response to the arrest of a mobile shop owner in New Delhi who was allegedly using the Aadhaar biometric verification process to issue new SIM cards without the consent or knowledge of customers. More here.

Centre will change terms of UIDAI’s proposed social media monitoring agency, says AG

The Attorney-General of India KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court yesterday that the Centre was willing to change the terms of the UIDAI’s proposed social media monitoring agency. Trinamool Congress leader Mohua Moitra had filed a PIL demanding that the agency’s planned activities could amount to surveillance of citizens and violate fundamental rights to equality, life and personal liberty, and violate freedom of speech and expression. More here.

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