The Centre has asked Indian states to accelerate the process of seeding National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) accounts with Aadhaar, reports the Hindustan Times. It did this out of concern that over 50% NSAP accounts entitled to the benefits under the scheme had not been seeded and verified with Aadhaar. Out of the 2.84 crore registered beneficiaries in NSAP, Aadhaar seeding has been done in 1.92 crore accounts. And out of these Aadhaar seeded accounts, Aadhaar details of 1.02 crore beneficiaries have been verified. NSAP is a Ministry of Rural Development welfare programme and includes multiple pension, family benefit and maternity benefit schemes. Aadhaar seeding and contention Union rural development secretary Amarjeet Sinha wrote to the states saying that "the gap between total number of beneficiaries and beneficiaries with verified Aadhaar number is huge and needs special efforts from your end." Sinha also said that an alternative method of identifying beneficiaries needs to be used in cases of Aadhaar authentication failures. The Supreme Court in its verdict on Aadhaar upheld the constitutionality of section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. This section allows the state to make the use of Aadhaar and biometric authentication mandatory for citizens to receive social benefits. Reetika Khera of Rethink Aadhaar told MediaNama, "Aadhaar-linking in the pension scheme is a life-and-death matter for the elderly: one of the hunger deaths in Jharkhand occurred three months after the old lady's pension began to be credited into another person's bank account because of a mistake in Aadhaar-seeding. Several have had their…
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