Aadhar Scheme Collects Biometric Data of 99 Crore Indians

IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad assures the Parliament that the data collected under Aadhar is safely encrypted.

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Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications Information and Technology (Photo: PTI)

Biometric data of about 99 crore Indians have been collected so far under the Aadhar scheme. The data is encrypted and its secrecy and security ensured, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Friday.

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad clarified that the data collected under Aadhar is safe. He also said that the data is stored within the country at data centres in Bangalore and Manesar and no foreign agency is involved in data collection.

In the case of Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, Rs 15,000 crore was saved and in the case of PDS, Rs 2,346 crore was saved in four states. As far as privacy part is concerned, I want to assure this House that under the architecture which was started by your government, all the care has been taken to ensure its privacy.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications Information and Technology

He said as far as the legislation in this regard is concerned, the House will get the occasion to examine it and there are privacy provisions in it. The bill is pending before the Lok Sabha.

As of now, the issue of the challenge to Aadhar is pending before a constitution bench of the Supreme Court which had passed certain interim orders. Thereafter, the Authority and many other bodies went (to it) and Supreme Court has permitted invoking the benefits through the Aadhar platform for a variety of services including MNREGA.

Prasad added that the data collection takes place at three levels- first the state government, then the public sector banks and finally the common service centre. He assured that no agency linked to any foreign agency is there in the process. Once the biometrics is collected, it gets encrypted immediately and its sanctity is maintained.

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