National Seminar on Aadhaar Program
The Government of India, in order to ensure more efficient access for people to the government schemes, envisaged an undertaking of providing a 12-digit unique number to every citizen of the country under the Aadhaar program. Overseen by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the project aims to establish an effective means to easily authenticate and verify identities online, anywhere and at anytime.
The Department of Management and Commerce at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Mysore campus organized a national seminar on Managerial Challenges in Implementing the Aadhaar Program on April 26, 2013 with an intention to delve deeper into different dimensions of this novel campaign.
Over 120 delegates participated in the seminar, presenting papers on various Aadhaar related issues such as legal, IT-related, logistical and budgetary in parallel technical sessions.
Invited guest Prof. K C Belliappa, Former Vice-Chancellor, Rajeev Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh pointed out implementation problems experienced by the Aadhaar program, which was meant to especially serve those at the grass roots level.
Dr. Dharani Devi Malagatti K, Superintendent of Police & Deputy Director, Karnataka Police Academy, Mysore observed, “The huge collection of biometric data for Aadhaar can be usefully utilized by the police and other departments too,” referring specifically to the capture of fingerprints.
“Aadhaar is for residents of India and not for citizens of India,” clarified Dr. S N Prasad, Education Consultant. He highlighted the problem wherein two or more cards were issued with the same Aadhaar number.
Major General S G Vombatkere, in his special lecture, questioned whether the implementation of Aadhaar was an invasion into a citizen’s privacy.
Dr. Bhamy V Shenoy noted that Aadhaar had the potential to become a game changer, leading to improvements in the public distribution system. “Aadhaar can help plug the massive misuse of subsidies also,” he added.
“We are planning to send the suggestions culled from the paper presentations to the UIDAI,” seminar organizers shared.
During the valedictory session, Prof. B Shivaraj, Chairman, Bahadur Institute of Management Sciences, University of Mysore, stated, “It is the duty of the government to provide its citizens some proof of identity. This initiative should have been taken soon after independence.”
The seminar was open to academicians, students and any interested citizen wanting to learn more about the Aadhaar program.
As of March 31, 2013, UIDAI had issued unique numbers to 31.19 crore people after recording biometric details such as finger prints and iris scans, in addition to photographs. According to UIDAI Chairman, Nandan Nilekani, formerly with Infosys Technologies, UIDAI would complete the task of capturing biometrics and issuing unique numbers to 60 crore people by 2014.
Over 25,000 enrollment stations set up by UIDAI across the country in a public-private partnership mode are making this gigantic task possible. There are huge budgetary allocations, as well as formidable logistical and technological challenges.