UID/Aadhaar
Retrieving Lost Aadhaar number: Impossible test for the poor
Once enrolled, a Kalawati cannot surrender or cancel her Aadhaar. To retrieve her lost Aadhaar letter or number, the poor lady would have to go through a gruelling process of providing enough details about herself to match 10 fields in the UIDAI database!
 
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the de-facto agency to turn every resident into a number, has admitted that retrieving a lost Aadhaar number is not without enormous pains for the holder, especially if she is from the poorer sections of the society. According to media reports, UIDAI has devised a new method, under which a person can put his biometrics and the system would then keep prompting for more demographic details till the server can zero down to 10 possible matches.
 
"During the entire process, none of the details of the Aadhaar holders will be shown to the person or the operator till the time an exact match has been found. This has been done keeping in mind the design of the Aadhaar project, where the system doesn’t reveal any information about the resident and only tries to authenticate the identity replying with a yes or no," a report from Business Standard says quoting an official from UIDAI.
 
On paper, this looks good, but would work for those who have knowledge of their own data that was filled in while registering for the unique identification (UID) number. Most of the poor people, who acquired the Aadhaar number, falling prey to UIDAI propaganda, would, however find it very difficult to retrieve their UID number, once it is lost.
 
According to Dr Anupam Saraph, who is a Professor, Future Designer, former governance and IT advisor to Goa’s former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, the process described by the official is an admission that UIDAI's biometrics is not sufficient to prove identity.
 
"The process described by the UIDAI spokesperson is an admission on part of the UIDAI that biometrics is not sufficient to prove identity. If it did, they should have been able to retrieve the unique ID for the person. There should have been no requirements for asking even a single question. It is strange that they do not trust anyone's eyes to compare the person with a photograph that their database should be having!" he said.
 
A government official told the newspaper that as a person can only enrol for Aadhaar once, there needed to be a mechanism to retrace the number in case the person has misplaced all possible links to it. “Enrolling again is not an option, as the system automatically rejects biometric details that have been registered once,” he said.
 
Dr Saraph, however, feels that there should a simple method to help the person to retrieve her lost Aadhaar number. He said, "The simplest way to replace a lost ID is to require an 'ID Lost Form' to be filled up and retrieve the person’s number based on demographic information. As a security measure, it (the letter containing Aadhaar number and other details) should not be handed over in person but be mailed through the postal service. As a measure of safety, duplicate numbers would need to be different as well as recognisable as duplicate and the original would need to be cancelled. A database of cancelled ID's would be available for query to those who rely on the ID."
 
Remember PV Narayanan from Kerala who enrolled and successfully received two Aadhaar numbers? According to a report in Matrubhoomi, a Kerala-based newspaper, PV Narayanan, a resident of Panatthadi panchayat received two Aadhaar numbers: 548780623023 and 356459270677. The names on both these letters issued by UIDAI were same, with slight different photos. Narayanan probably may have registered at two places or centres. But, surprisingly, his fingerprints apparently passed the so-called ‘robust’ de-duplication test of UIDAI. Since Aadhaar includes an iris scan, this too seems to have been missed. (http://www.moneylife.in/article/aadhaar-de-duplication-myth-busted-any-answers-mr-nilekani/34884.html)
 
Coming back to the retrieval of lost Aadhaar number or letter, all the claims of UIDAI are fine in the case of individuals. But what about those Aadhaar numbers or letters lost by the UIDAI or other government agencies themselves? And how about thousands of Aadhaar letters found in garbage and near railway tracks?
 
"How can information lost by the government be replaced without re-enrolment? How can they even tell whose information they lost? You may recall the Government of Maharashtra had lost lakhs of IDs two years ago," Dr Saraph said.
 
In March 2013, hundreds of Aadhaar letters duly signed and ready to be delivered to the concerned people have been found dumped in a heap of garbage at Shanti Nagar area in Nagpur. There have been reports of applicants being issued the Aadhaar numbers ‘twice’ over, lakhs of Aadhaar number letters being ‘misplaced’ and even being ‘issued to a dog, a chair and a tree!’
 
In addition, there is no scope for the Aadhaar number holder to cancel her registration. Replying to a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by CJ Karira, co-convenor of India Against Corruption (IAC), the UIDAI admitted that once allotted, one can never cancel the Aadhaar number. The Central Information Commission (CIC) in an order observed: “Two of the queries related to the procedure by which a UID number holder could surrender his UID number and card and get his data erased from the data base of the UIDAI. The CPIO informed the Appellant vide his letter dated 13th and 16 January 2014 that as on date, there was no such procedure adopted by the UIDAI to delete the UID number from the UID database."
 
So while there is no way the poor Kalawati can surrender her Aadhaar number, she has to go through an impossible process to retrieve her lost UID. 

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COMMENTS

CHILUKURI K R L RAO

2 years ago

I have seen people from rural background who have lost the enrolment receipt and have not received Aadhaar struggle to get it. It seems there is no easy procedure in such cases. There should some permanent points of service like e-Seva centres etc., which have a reasonable presence across the country, to take care of these issues.

REPLY

vishal

In Reply to CHILUKURI K R L RAO 2 years ago

It is better to decentralise this scheme from Government agencies. My wife took an auto and went & registered for a aadhar card. It was denied on the grounds of some technical mistake committed by the staff. It is more than a year. Still she is struggling to get a aadhar card.

Govind Agrawal

2 years ago

Nice article. I appreciate author for getting in to details, and doing it technically correct. But, believe me, Biometric Architecture behind UIDAI is reasonably strong, and planned thoroughly.

World Cup Cricket: Doordarshan allowed to share feed with private cable operators

The apex court also stayed the Delhi High Court judgement barring Prasar Bharati from sharing with cable operators the live feed of the 2015 Cricket World Cup

 

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) to continue to share live feed of cricket World Cup matches with private cable operators. The apex court also granted a stay on the Delhi High Court order in this regard.
 
The High Court had allowed the plea of Star India Ltd, which holds the exclusive telecast rights of the Cricket world cup, and had asked Prasar Bharati not to share the live feed of the matches with private cable operators.
 
A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that its order staying the operation of the High Court verdict will continue till it finally decides the petition of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati.
 
Prasar Bharati on Thursday had told the apex court that it was not feasible to start a separate channel for showing the cricket world cup matches.
 
Prior to that, the apex court had sought the response of the public broadcaster on various suggestions mooted by Star India in this regard. The suggestions included opening of a new DD channel for showing the cricket matches.
 
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre and Prasar Bharati, had told the court that it was mandatory for a private channel under the Sports Act and the Cable TV Network Act to share the feeds of matches of "national importance" with Prasar Bharati for providing it on DD's free-to-air terrestrial channels.
 
Earlier, the apex court had stayed the Delhi High Court judgement barring Prasar Bharati from sharing with cable operators the live feed of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, while asking Star India, BCCI and Prasar Bharati to come out with their proposals to resolve the dispute.
 
"The position of 2007, we are maintaining it for a while. We thought there is something to hear. We will not bring about a situation abruptly. This arrangement under which DD shows free feed has been there for the last seven years. Let it continue," the bench had said while staying the HC verdict.
 
Prasar Bharati had moved the Supreme Court challenging the 4th February judgement of Delhi High Court, which was passed on the plea of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), ESPN and Star. They had contended that cable operators were getting live feed free through DD channels, resulting in loss of revenue for them.
 

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Jitan Ram Manjhi quits as Bihar CM before trust vote
Hours before the crucial trust vote, Jitan Ram Manjhi has reportedly resigned as Bihar's chief minister
 
Jitan Ram Manjhi has reportedly resigned as chief minister of Bihar, hours before the crucial trust vote in the state assembly. 
 
Manjhi, who was expelled by the JD (U) earlier this month, had so far refused to resign and had insisted that he had the support to remain chief minister.
 
Earlier in the day, Manjhi met Governor KN Tripathi amid reports that he did not have enough numbers to win the trust vote despite support from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
 
Manjhi is also said to have recommended the dissolution of the Bihar assembly too. 
 
BJP had decided to vote with the Manjhi faction in the confidence vote, hoping that this will win it support from the state's sizeable ‘Mahadalit' community. 
 
BJP state unit chief Sushil Kumar Modi had said that the legislative party will vote in favour of Manjhi. Sources said all 87 BJP MLAs were unanimous that the party should back Manjhi. 
 
Nitish Kumar has claimed the support of 130 MLAs. This includes MLAs of JD(U), RJD, Congress and Left parties. 
 
Responding to Manjhi's resignation, Kumar said the BJP's game plan has been exposed. 

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