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Aadhaar must for tatkal passport, no linking deadline: Top 10 developments

The Aadhaar linking deadline has been extended till the apex court delivers its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the biometric identification scheme

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Aadhaar
The Supreme Court has issued an interim order extending the deadline for linking Aadhaar numbers to bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, passports and other services indefinitely beyond the previous deadline of March 31 

Link your Aadhaar to your mobile phone number and bank account as soon as possible. If these persistent messages from telecom service providers and banks have been bothering you, you can safely ignore them -- at least for some more time. The Supreme Court has indefinitely extended the March 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with existing bank accounts, PAN, mobile phone numbers, and various other services. However, the relief was not absolute as, according to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), your Aadhaar would still be required for opening new bank accounts or applying for Tatkal passports.

The apex court also ruled that the government could continue to seek beneficiaries' Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric identifier number, for the transfer of benefits under schemes funded from the consolidated fund of India. "We direct that the interim order passed on December 15, 2017, shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced," a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said. The judgment provided relief to hundreds or thousands of people who have not yet linked their bank accounts or mobile phones with Aadhaar.

The deadline has been extended till the apex court delivers its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the biometric identification scheme. The current deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, and other services was March 31, after it had been extended by the apex court on December 15 last year.

As Chief Justice Deepak Misra said their interim order stood extended, the Attorney General told the court that the government was prepared to extend the deadline in the last week of March because arguments in the matter would have concluded by then. "We were prepared for extension in last week of March," he told the court in a bid to stall the extension.

The Constitution Bench, which also includes Justice A K Sikri, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud, and Justice Ashok Bhushan, had on March 7 ruled that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) would not insist on Aadhaar-only identification for NEET and other all-India examinations.

Here are the new rules regarding with mobile phone numbers, bank accounts, and services, and the top 10 developments regarding the Aadhaar biometric identification scheme:

1) COAI lauds order on deadline: The Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) lauded the Supreme Court's decision to extend the deadline for linking various services, including mobile phone numbers, with Aadhaar. The COAI said that the move would provide customers and telecom service providers (TSPs) enough time to carry out Aadhaar linking.

"We welcome the Supreme Court's order on extending the timeline for linking mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar numbers, till the pronouncement of the judgment on the matter. This will provide adequate time to both the customers and TSPs to conduct the exercise in an orderly manner," COAI Director General Rajan Mathews said in a statement. "We will await further instructions from the Department of Telecom in this regard," he added.

2) Aadhaar must for opening bank accounts: The requirement of Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts will continue, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said on Tuesday.

The UIDAI, however, added that "for those who do not have Aadhaar, they are required to apply for Aadhaar and provide the Aadhaar application number while applying for availing the aforesaid services".

3) Aadhaar must for applying for tatkal passports: The UIDAI on Tuesday said the requirement of Aadhaar for applying for Tatkal passports will continue. "As per the Supreme Court's order dated 13th March 2018, the requirement of Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts and applying for Tatkal passports under the relevant laws continues," the UIDAI, which issues the 12-digit biometric identifier, said in a late evening tweet.

However, the UIDAI added that "for those who do not have Aadhaar, they are required to apply for Aadhaar and provide the Aadhaar application number while applying for availing the aforesaid services".

The UIDAI tweet might clear some of the confusion. According to agency reports from earlier on Tuesday, the apex court also directed that its interim order "shall also control and govern the Passports (1st Amendment) Rules, 2018", which insisted on Aadhaar identification for getting passports under the 'Tatkal' scheme. According to the same agency reports, the Bench said that Aadhaar would not be mandatory for obtaining Tatkal passports.



4) extended till SC verdict: The March 31 deadline for linking bank accounts and mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar was extended indefinitely by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. However, the apex court said that the government could continue to seek the 12-digit biometric identifier number of beneficiaries for the transfer of benefits of schemes funded from the consolidated fund of India.

"We direct that the interim order passed on December 15, 2017, shall stand extended till the matter is finally heard and the judgment is pronounced," a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said. The deadline for linking of various services with Aadhaar was extended till the Supreme Court delivers its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.

The current deadline for linking of bank accounts, mobile phone connections, and other services with Aadhaar was March 31, after it had been extended by the apex court on December 15 last year.

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5) What the extension means for you: Over the past two weeks, mobile phone cellular service providers and banks have been messaging their clients to link Aadhaar to their accounts or mobile phone numbers. Now, the Supreme Court order on Aadhaar linking makes it clear that one does not have to link it until the Supreme Court passes its verdict in the case. So, for now, you can continue to ignore those messages.

ALSO READ: SC extends deadline for linking Aadhaar to phones, bank accounts

Know the SC order on Aadhaar linking in four points

A) The deadline for linking Aadhaar with mobile phone numbers and bank accounts has been extended indefinitely

B) The SC said that its interim order will remain in force till a further verdict

C) The apex court had last year extended the deadline to March 31

D) However, the SC has made it clear that Aadhaar will be required for subsidies and benefits under Section 7 of the Constitution

6) Social Security schemes that come under Aadhaar ambit:

A) Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: This flagship scheme launched by the Modi government aims to provide free LPG connection to below poverty line (BPL) families. The scheme uses Aadhaar to verify the claim of the beneficiary and to transfer the subsidy amount.

B) Digital payments: The Unified Payment Interface and the recently launched BHIM app support Aadhaar-based money transfer. The IDFC Bank has recently rolled out Aadhaar Pay, where the customer's fingerprint is used to pay the merchant.

C) Direct Benefit Transfer: The first major rollout of Aadhaar-based service was Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), a mechanism to hand over the subsidy and welfare amount directly to the beneficiary's bank account, instead of the existing practice of giving banker's cheque or cash.

At present, 92 centrally-sponsored schemes from 19 ministries are implemented through DBT. The prominent among them are PAHAL for LPG subsidy, cash transfer of food subsidy, and MGNREGA.

ALSO READ: Aadhaar: UIDAI dismisses security breach claims as irresponsible

The others are:

Indira Gandhi Disability Pension Scheme

Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme

Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Grameen)

BSR Doctoral Fellowship in Sciences

Dr. S. Radharkrishnan Post Doctoral Fellowship In Humanities

Emeritus Fellowship

Kothari Post Doctoral Fellowship in Sciences

National Research Professorship

Ishan Uday Scholarship Scheme for North Eastern Region

National Eligibility Test-Junior Research. Fellowship

P. G. Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl Child

P. G. Scholarship for Professional Courses for SC or ST candidates

P. G. Scholarship for University Rank Holders

PG Scholarship for GATE qualified PG Students

PMSSS for J and K Students admitted in rest of India

Post Doctoral. Fellowship for Women

Post- Doctoral Fellowship for SC or ST Candidates

Pragati Scholarship for girls Diploma Institutes

Pragati Scholarship for girls in Degree Colleges

QIP for faculty deputed for PhD studies at QIP centers

Saksham Scholarship for differently abled students of Degree College

Saksham scholarship for differently abled students of Diploma Institutes

Scholarship To Universities /College Students

Swami Vivekananda Single Girl Child Scholarship

Artistes Pension Scheme and Welfare Fund

Finacial assistance for the preservation and development of Himalayan Cultural Heritage for Himalaya

Financial Assistance for the Cultural Function Grant SchemeCFGS

Financial Assistance for the development of Buddhist / Tibetian Organizations

Financial Assistance to Cultural Organization

International Cultural Relation

Production Grant

Repertory Grant Scheme

Scheme for the Award of Fellowship to outstanding persons in the field of Culture

Scheme for Scholarships to Young Artistes in different cultural fields

Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research

Artistes Pension Scheme and Welfare Fund

Finacial assistance for the preservation and development of Himalayan Cultural Heritage for Himalaya

Financial Assistance for the Cultural Function Grant Scheme

Financial Assistance for the development of Buddhist / Tibetian Organizations

Financial Assistance to Cultural Organization

International Cultural Relation

Production Grant

Repertory Grant Scheme

Scheme for the Award of Fellowship to outstanding persons in the field of Culture

Scheme for Scholarships to Young Artistes in different cultural fields

Tagore National Fellowship for Cultural Research

Maternity Benefit Programme

Inclusive Education for Disabled at Secondary Stage

National Means Cum Merit Scholarship

National Scheme For Incentive For The Girl Child For Secondary Education

Maulana Azad National Fellowship

Merit Cum Means Scholarship For Minorities

Post Matric Scholarship Scheme For Minorities

Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme For Minorities

Housing Subsidy To Beedi Workers

Housing Subsidy To Iron/Manganese/Chrome Ore Workers

Housing Subsidy To Lime Stone and Dolomite LSDM Workers

Rehabilitation Assistance

Scholarship To The Children of Lime Stone and Dolomite LSDM Workers

Scholarship To The Children of Beedi Workers

Scholarship To The Children of Cine Workers

Scholarship To The Children of Iron/Manganese/Chrome Ore Workers

Stipend to children in the special schools under the National Child Labour Project

Stipend to Differently Abled Candidates under Scheme of Vocational Rehabilitation Centre

Stipend To Trainees Under The Scheme Of Welfare Of SC/ST Job Seekers

Post-matric Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities

Pre-matric scholarship for Persons with disabilities

Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for students

Scholarship for Top Class Education

Janani Suraksha Yojana

Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana

Life Insurance-linked with Jan Dhan Yojana

Assistance for procurement of modified scooter

Assistance for purchase of Tool Kits

Assistance for treatment of cancer and dialysis

Assistance for treatment of listed serious diseases

Interest subsidy on home loan upto max 1 lakh

Prime Minister Scholarship Scheme

Cash Transfer of Food Subsidy

7) '320 million Aadhaar numbers linked to voter ID cards': Last week, Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat said that as many as 320 million (32 crore) Aadhaar numbers have been linked to voter ID cards. "So far, as many as 320 million (32 crore) Aadhaar numbers have been linked to voters' ID cards. Another 545 million (54.5 crore) will be done as soon as we get a nod from the Supreme Court," he told reporters.

Asked how long it would take to link another 545 million (54.5 crore) Aadhaar numbers, Rawat said that "we did 320 million (32 crore) in just three months".

ALSO READ: Insurance bureau building Aadhaar-like database for hospitals: Kunnel Prem

8) '166 million PAN cards linked to Aadhaar': Over 166.5 million PAN cards have been linked to biometric identifier Aadhaar, Parliament was informed last week. "As on March 5, number of Aadhaar cards linked with PAN is 166,582,421," Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

ALSO READ: Aadhaar issued to over 89% of total population till mid-Feb: MoS Alphons

9) '877 million bank accounts linked to Aadhaar': The Parliament was informed last week that 877.9 million bank accounts have been linked to biometric identifier Aadhaar. "...As on March 2, 877.9 million current accounts and savings accounts have been linked with Aadhaar," Minister of State for Finance Shukla said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

ALSO READ: Now, you can link your Aadhaar number with PF account via Umang app

10) Centre to link driving licence with Aadhaar: The Supreme Court was told that the Centre was in the process of linking driving licences with Aadhaar numbers to weed out fake licences, said reports that emerged last month. Further, the apex court was informed that a software for this covering all states on a real-time basis was under preparation.

A Bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was informed about it by a court-appointed committee on road safety headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice K S Radhakrishnan.


With agency inputs

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 12:27 IST
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