UID/Aadhaar
Aadhaar wakeup call: Govt to introduce NID Bill in winter session

After threatening citizens with exclusion from services and benefits if they have not enrolled for Aadhaar and getting slapped by the Supreme Court, the UPA government now plans to introduce NID Bill to give legal status to the numbering scheme

After getting a rebuttal from the Supreme Court, the union government said it will push for passage of a long-pending Bill that would provide legal status to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) during the upcoming winter session of the Parliament.

 

Rajiv Shukla, minister of state for parliamentary affairs and planning, told agencies that the government will bring the National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 in Parliament during the forthcoming winter session for discussion and passage.

 

The working of the UIDAI has come under scrutiny of the Supreme Court, which in an interim order on Monday, said that Aadhaar can be issued only to Indian citizens and it cannot be made mandatory for availing of benefits of the government’s subsidy schemes. While trashing the Centre's claim of Rs50,000 crore expenses on the UIDAI project, a Bench of Justices BS Chauhan and SA Bobde said that Aadhaar number is not necessary for important services.

 

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and the UIDAI have been complicit in the coercion and bullying that is now part of the UID enrolment process, and its silent acquiescence while people are threatened with exclusion from services and benefits if they have not enrolled.

 

The UIDAI, which issues 12—digit Aadhaar numbers to residents, currently operates through an executive order.

 

The Bill to provide the authority legal backing was approved by the union Cabinet in September 2010 and introduced in the Rajya Sabha in December that year. It was sent for scrutiny to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance headed by former finance minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

 

“Now the Bill has been sent back to the Planning Commission by the Standing Committee with some amendments. We will soon take it to the Cabinet and try to push the draft for passage in the winter session,” Shukla said.

 

The minister said the UIDAI has not made enrolment for Aadhaar number mandatory for residents and it was for the central departments, ministries and state governments to decide how to verify the identity of beneficiaries.

 

“Aadhaar establishes the identity of a person and not the nationality. It also serves as proof of residence. Moreover, it is a voluntary facility and not mandatory,” he said.

 

This also raises question on the forceful implementation of Aadhaar by several government ministries, like the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, which is trying to make it mandatory for customers to provide the UID for subsidy on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinder. While minister for petroleum Veerappa Moily has been saying that all consumers of LPG will have to submit their Aadhaar numbers to receive subsidy, the union government itself has admitted that it is not mandatory.

 

Replying to an un-starred question on 8 May 2013, Shukla, had said, "Aadhaar card is not mandatory to avail subsidized facilities being offered by the Government like LPG cylinders, admission in private aided schools, opening a savings account etc."

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COMMENTS

Ramesh Iyer

3 years ago

The UPA govt should have got statutory approval for UIDAI BEFORE it embarked on its ambitious project, which also seems to overlap with the NPR database it maintains. But now that the SC has put a spanner in its works, the UPA govt has no choice but to do what it ought to have done much earlier.
Of course, having numbers in its favor, its NID Bill will sail thru like its other flagship bills like FSB and Land Acquisition Bill earlier this year. Pity it couldn't muster the same enthusiasm or consensus on Lokpal Bill, which remains in limbo.

ICICI Bank launches 'Pockets', a new app for Facebook

'Pockets by ICICI Bank' allows customers to carry out wide range of non-financial transactions including viewing a summary as well as a mini statement of savings bank account, knowing credit card details and getting demat holding statements

ICICI Bank has launched a new application that would allow its customers to carry out a slew of banking services on Facebook.

 

Using the app, 'Pockets by ICICI Bank', customers can carry out wide range of non-financial transactions including viewing a summary as well as a mini statement of savings bank account, knowing credit card details and getting demat holding statements. Through this app, a customer can open fixed or recurring deposit, order a cheque book, stop a cheque payment and upgrade debit card, the lender said in a statement.

 

Last year, the Bank launched 'Your Bank', its app on Facebook that allows customers to their savings account details and statements while on Facebook, as well as to order a cheque book and upgrade debit card.

 

'Pockets by ICICI Bank' offers a bouquet of unique features such as:

  • Split 'n' share: It allows customers to split and track group expenses and share them with friends on Facebook.  The app also gives the customer the option of sending messages to remind friends on pending payments.
  • Pay a friend:  It allows customers to transfer funds to their friends without knowing their bank account details like account number, bank branch, branch IFSC code etc. Through this facility, customers can create electronic coupons that can be redeemed by their friends on www.icicibank.com
  • Recharge prepaid mobile: 'Pockets by ICICI Bank' lets customers recharge their prepaid mobile instantly, from Facebook itself.
  • Book movie tickets: Users can now plan for their favourite movie with their Facebook friends and instantly book the tickets using 'Pockets by ICICI Bank'.

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COMMENTS

pravsemilo

3 years ago

Now Big Brother knows what you do with your ICICI account!

US FDA to increase inspections of drug facilities in India

The USFDA’s presence in India is being increased to 19 from 12 American staff based in-country, including 10 dedicated specifically to medical products

The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) is increasing its inspections of facilities of drug makers in India, the second largest provider of finished dose products to the US, to ensure compliance of approved manufacturing norms.

 

The US health regulator, which has been cracking the whip against many Indian pharmaceutical companies, including Ranbaxy Laboratories and Wockhardt, is also recruiting and training additional drugs investigators in India.

 

The FDA said it is stepping up inspections in India in order to meet the requirements of the new Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) — Generic Drug User Fee Amendments (GDUFA).

 

“In March 2013 the (US) FDA received approval from the Indian Government to add seven additional drugs investigators in India.

 

The USFDA’s presence in India is being increased to 19 from 12 American staff based in-country, including 10 dedicated specifically to medical products. Other staff include foods and devices inspectors, and policy analysts.

 

“Having these additional inspectors in-country will assist the agency in meeting our legislative mandates. So we are increasing our rates of inspection,” Kelly added.

 

Under the FDASIA, the USFDA is required to achieve the same inspectional schedule for foreign facilities as domestic manufacturers, and to clear the backlog of applications by the end of the first five-year user fee authorisation period.

 

India, as the second largest provider of finished dose products to the US with almost 10 per cent of that market, has, for many years, been a consistent provider of low-cost and quality medical products for many countries of the world.

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