The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill will be taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha today. The Lok Sabha had on July 4 passed the Bill, with a voice vote, which seeks to amend the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. Per the Rajya Sabha’s website, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will move the house to introduce the bill after opposition MPs D Raja, Binoy Viswam, Elmakaram Kareem and T Subbarammi Reddy will argue against the March 2019 Aadhaar ordinance. Here’s an explainer on what the Aadhaar amendment bill will change if passed in the Upper House: What does this amendment do? 1. Expanding the meaning of the “Aadhaar number“: The Aadhaar number will also include “any alternative virtual identity generated.” What this means: Earlier, the Aadhaar number only referred to the 12 digit UID number given by the UIDAI upon receipt of demographic and biometric information of an Indian resident. Now, it has been expanded to include the sixteen digit Virtual ID that people can use to mask their Aadhaar number and share information with third parties. The expanded definition effectively brings the Virtual ID also under the Act. 2. Overarching powers for the UIDAI: The proposed amendment gives power to the UIDAI to issue directions to any entity in the Aadhaar ecosystem. What this means: Earlier Banks had questioned the jurisdiction of the UIDAI to give them orders, saying that, as per the Banking Regulation Act, only…
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