As many as 40,955 fraudulent Aadhaar numbers have been discovered and cancelled as of August 31, 2020, the IT ministry told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. IT Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre was answering a question submitted by Binoy Viswam of the Communist Party of India (CPI) who wished to know if the ministry had found any fraudulent Aadhaar cards. The ministry's admission to having identified more than 40,000 fraudulent numbers raises questions about the security of the Aadhaar ecosystem. From media reports and published research, the prevalence of fraudulent Aadhaar cards — created either by forgery or through falsification of documents — is much wider. In 2018, independent researchers Anmol Somanchi and Vipul Paikra had compiled a database of over 73 incidents of misuse of Aadhaar cards reported in English media that year. Of these, 52 were cases involved fake or forged Aadhaar numbers. The fraudulent Aadhaars were being used siphon off ration grains, carry out land transfers, procure passports, and get loans, among other things. Somanchi told IndiaSpend that initially they had included Hindi reports as well, and had found more such incidents. In total, the database consists of 164 incidents reported since 2011, of which 52 involve forgery. UIDAI had refused to give these details in 2017: The government's latest submission in the Parliament is a departure from its earlier stance on the matter. In 2017, a PTI correspondent filed a Right To Information (RTI) query with the UIDAI, asking for information on the number of fake and…
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