Amidst all the rhetoric shrill against the use of Aadhar foridentifying beneficiaries of government schemes, the decisive thrust given bythe BJP regime to this move has started delivering remarkable results. Linkingall the monetary transactions with Aadhar has brought an unprecedented clarityin the country’s economic activity.
This in turn, has propelled Indian economy to an unwaveringgrowth trajectory. A developing economy’s growth can be measured from thehappiness index of its most impoverished and downtrodden segment. The biggestbeneficiary from the Aadhar linkage with the economic activities has been thispoorest of poor segment of our country. Aadhar linkage has revolutionized MGNREGS (Mahatma GandhiNational Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) the most ambitious scheme of thetimes. Independent surveys state that nearly 150 Crore person days of work wascreated in 2017 and majority of these beneficiaries were identified throughAadhar. This means that nearly 80 lakhs to 1 crore workers are coming every dayfor work in different parts of the country under MGNREGS. Unlike previous years, more than 86 percent of them are paidwithin 15 days, just because their bank accounts and job cards are linked withAadhar.
This is a remarkable improvement compared to last 10 years when MGREGSwas conceived. 99 percent of these payments are on the electronic FinancialManagement System based on Aadhar linked accounts. The Central Government hasensured timely release of funds and States have responded by strengthening theimplementation machinery to provide timely payments.In fact, the union government under the guidance of PrimeMinister Narendra Modi has saved Rs 57,000 crore by weeding out corruption fromvarious schemes by using technology. It won’t be untrue to say that, this is the first governmentwhich has been able to check corruption and plug the leakage through the use ofInformation, Communication and Technology. Linking Aadhar with all thetransactions has played a vital role in achieving this success. Despite all these achievements, some cynics are creating abogey in the name of data infringement. One should be proud of the Indiantraditions and laws of ancient India as old as 2500 years and Vedic period,when laws existed for preventing unfair trade practices, abuses andadulteration of products.
India has been taking pro-active measures to keeponline data safe, after all data is indispensable as Oil in this century. So,in such scenario, it is futile to point fingers at data privacy. Realistically speaking, union government busted over fourcrore fake LPG connections after mandating consumers to link their Aadharnumber with their connection profiles. More tax fraudsters are expected to be caught once financedepartment links Passports, PAN cards, DIN and TIN numbers with Aadhar. Infact, it will be major step in the direction of curbing black money. Modi governments initiative to link Aadhar with social benefitshas proved to be watershed moment for the Indian economy. It has helped to tamemammoth corruption that once had become a synonym of the public institutions,to a great extent. Ease in doingbusiness has ignited lot more confidence in the investors who have expressedtheir desires to invest many folds in the infrastructure building here.
Experts believe that these are interesting times for theIndian economy as the world is taking notice of every step India is taking.According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), such emerging markets willdrive the global economic activity. Asian economies led by India are picking upspeed as policy and consumption-led tailwinds have given businesses a positivefillip. Global investors are supporting the pro-reform stance taken by India. Afundamental premise of optimism stemmed from India’s strong socio-economicreforms that have already started aligning our country’s economic direction ina transformational manner.
In fact, Prime Minister Modi has assured that data securityremains the top priority of the current regime as confident investor andconsumer remains the backbone of a healthy economy. He mentioned the newConsumer Protection Bill which is on the top priority of the Government. ThePrime Minister mentioned several important efforts taken by his governmentacross various sectors like Housing, Energy, Standards, Healthcare,pharmaceuticals and medical devices and procedures that has resulted infinancial benefits to consumers.
However, a newspaper sting tried to establish vulnerabilityof Indian citizen’s data identity but the fears seems to be little far-fetched.A newspaper claimed that its reporters were able to access names, email ids,contact numbers and postal codes of numerous individuals by just typing their12-digit unique identification numbers in the government’s database, afterpaying an employee meagre eight dollars. But the fact of the matter is that India has investedhandsomely in upgrading its servers in last three years, to keep the country’sdata safe.
On the other hand, many experts believed that the ‘so called sting’appears to be bogus and a ‘fake news’. One must remember, Aadhar and itsprivacy measures has got India laurels from the world genius.Bill Gates, on his visit to India recently had hailed it asa “12-digit lie detector,” while the World Bank’s chief economistPaul Romer had hailed Aadhar as bane for the world, if other countries couldadopt it comprehensively. Meanwhile delegations from Tanzania, Bangladesh andAfghanistan have already visited India to learn how the technology could bereplicated in their own countries. All this activity assures us about the safety of Aadhar anddata privacy. In fact, government must focus on linking economic transactionswith the Aadhar number in order to provide the formal economy with the muchrequired boost.
Note: The Authorhas used data conclusions from the reports and research papers prepared by DataIndia and Indian Brand Equity Foundation.