Recently the Supreme Court delivered an interim order that the Government should not insist on Aadhaar cards for providing essential services to citizens. The court said, “No citizen should suffer for the want of Aadhaar cards.” It is certainly true that the deserving citizens should not be denied the benefits that they are entitled to because they have not been able to obtain unique identity number due to no fault of their own, but Aadhaar has a proven ability to streamline the disbursal of benefits, so a way has to be found to use them.
Through Aadhaar, it is possible for the country to streamline the disbursal of benefits and curb the leakage and corruption in the benefit transfers. Aadhaar can empower hundreds of millions of poor Indians to acquire proof of identity and access the financial system with great efficiency and ease. Since the Aadhaar card uses foolproof biometrics to establish the identity of a person, it eliminates the threat of any fraud and bogus activity. This is the best system to authenticate ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ authentication to its beneficiary. We sincerely hope that the Centre will come up with adequate policy for ensuring that Aadhaar can be used in a significant manner for disbursal of benefits.
In this issue of eGov magazine we have done the coverage of some of the key government officials who are engaged in development of new e-Governance initiatives in the country. Dr Neeraj Mittal, Joint Secretary (Marketing) at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, has given an interview in this issue. He talks about Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) Scheme that is Aadhaar based and will ensure that the benefit reaches the intended beneficiary and there is no subsidy leakage in the LPG delivery system.
Another interesting interview is of A L Hek, Minister for Information Technology & Communications and Health & Family Welfare, in Meghalaya. The Hon’ble minister has spoken in detail about the e-Governance systems that are being implemented in the state. Plus there are the interviews of key officials from other government departments in Centre and the States, and there is also the coverage of private companies that are providing various solutions to the government. Ram Sewak Sharma, the Chief Secretary for Government of Jharkhand, who was earlier the Director General of UIDAI, has provided us with his views on the e-Nibandhan and other important e-Governance initiatives that have been launched in Jharkhand.
On 24-25 October, 2013, we are organising the conference called the Financial Inclusion Payment Systems (FIPS) at Eros Hilton, New Delhi. This event poses as a unique opportunity for engaging with a broad range of players in financial inclusion and payment systems space. All the key stakeholders in the area of financial inclusion, direct benefits transfer and other BFSI segments are expected to attend the event and contribute to a vibrant discussion that will shed light on not only the achievements so far, but also the challenges that we need to overcome in order to create a truly inclusive society.