Draft proposes Aadhaar authentication for non-government entities

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The existing 2020 Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance Rules already allows the government departments to undertake Aadhaar authentication, through a one-time passcode or biometric authentication. File

The existing 2020 Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance Rules already allows the government departments to undertake Aadhaar authentication, through a one-time passcode or biometric authentication. File
| Photo Credit: V.V. Krishnan

A draft notification proposing the use of “voluntary” Aadhaar authentication by non-government entities was released on April 20.

The draft Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation, Knowledge) Amendment Rules, 2023 would allow Aadhaar authentication for ‘promoting ease of living for residents and enabling better access to services.’

The existing 2020 Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance Rules already allows the government departments to undertake Aadhaar authentication, through a one-time passcode or biometric authentication. This ensured usage of digital platforms for good governance, prevention of dissipation of social welfare benefits, and to enable innovation and spread knowledge.

Also Read: Supreme Court seeks government reply to plea on Aadhaar data use by private firms

If a government department was satisfied that an application under this draft rule fulfilled the abovementioned purposes, it can refer the request to the Union Government, which will place it in front of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Following this Aadhaar numbers will be issued.

However, the government is yet to declare what kinds of private sector authentications it allow under this amendment.

Comments in response to the draft notification will not be made public, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in an explanatory note. The government will accept comments on the MyGov portal until May 5, 2023.

Aadhaar authentication is currently permitted, among other things, for availing subsidies, ration, and carry out Know Your Customer (KYC) authentication for opening bank accounts or registering for a mobile or internet connection, linking with PAN, and deduplicating voter registrations.

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