Aadhar Card is Not Mandatory for Accessing Government Services

Central Government today has come up with some clarity on the usage of Aadhar Card. Since last few months, confusion is building up upon the usage of Aadhar card for accessing government benefits and subsidies. Now, Government has clarified that Aadhar card is not mandatory to gain access to Government services.

In reply to a question in Lok Sabha, State for IT and Electronics Minister P Chaudhary informed that Aadhar Card is now optional for Indian citizens and lacking of Aadhar card cannot be a basis for rejecting any benefits or subsidies for anyone.

Minister Chaudhary said, “Section 7 of the Aadhar Act offers that if an Aadhar number is not assigned to an individual, the person will be offered alternate and viable means of identification for the delivery of subsidy, benefit or service.”

On October 15, 2015, Supreme Court had ordered that Aadhar card usage should not be extended other than kerosene, LPG subsidy and PDS scheme. Later, it was extended to include MGNREGS, National Social Assistance Programme Pensions, Jan Dhan Yojana accounts and (EPFO) Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation.

However in this year September, confusions had raised on the usage of Aadhar. The government passed the Aadhar Bill as a money bill to give it a legal backing. After this, Government got sufficient control to force Aadhar on every Indian citizen and Government scheme.

Within a few days, Supreme Court had to interfere, and re-state that Aadhar is only a voluntary form of identification and nothing more.

Recently, Aadhar card becomes a mandate for booking railway tickets in IRCTC, to start a new business and even to buy smartphone handsets Aadhar is required.

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