Two parallel run schemes of the Government viz. the Adhaar Card and NPR, one as voluntary and the other as compulsory, have led to debates at national levels and also litigations. On merits, discuss whether or not both schemes need run concurrently. Analyse the potential of the schemes to achieve developmental benefits and equitable growth.

Published: January 22, 2015

Though there is overlap between Adhaar and NPR to a certain extent, there are some essential differences between them and the purpose they serve. Adhaar revolves around the Adhaar number rather than the card, and is fashioned in a manner similar to the social security number in USA. The Adhaar number is then linked to NPR, wherein Adhaar number is required as part of the NPR registry. The NPR is compulsory, and when one applies to the NPR registry, their data is sent to UIDAI for generation of Adhaar number, in case the person doesn’t already have one. Thus, technically, Adhaar could have been subsumed under the larger NPR mechanism, thus saving time, efforts and expenditure. However, the linking of Adhaar to the government-run schemes and programmes gives it a renewed and additional purpose other than that of identification and collation of biometric data.

While NPR is a much required step for the government to create a database of Indian residents and evolve an identification mechanism, Adhaar card will provide developmental benefits. With Adhaar, the governmental subsidies and other benefits can be directly transferred to the deserving persons without the deployment of intermediaries which increase inefficiency and also reduce the inherent economic and other inequities in society.

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