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UN: India’s Unique Identification Programme Aadhaar is a “Critical” step in Enabling Fairer Access

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December 1, 2016: “India’s unique identification programme Aadhaar is a critical step in enabling fairer access to government services and has “tremendous potential” for fostering inclusion,” according to a UN report.

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The 2016 Report on the World Social Situation, released by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said, “The decision of India in 2010 to launch the Aadhaar programme to enrol the biometric identifying data of all its 1.2 billion citizens was a critical step in enabling fairer access of the people to government benefits and services.”

The report, released on Wednesday said that the programmes such as Aadhaar have “tremendous potential to foster inclusion” by giving all people, which includes the poorest and most marginalised, an official identity.

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“Fair and robust systems of legal identity and birth registration are recognised in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as an important foundation for promoting inclusive societies,” it said.

More than 108.27 crore Aadhaar numbers has already been issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to the residents of India.

The report includes, “ Key new findings about persisting inequalities in education and economic opportunity and, challenges the international community to work harder to break down barriers to participation.”

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It said, around 40 per cent of the world’s population does not have access to education in a language they understand.

It further added that the children of ethnic minorities and disabled people are much less likely to finish their primary and secondary educations, it added.

by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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Will Facebook accounts be linked to Aadhaar card?

The social media giant did not ask participants in the test to provide their Aadhaar number

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Facebook is not collecting Aadhaar card data Picture credits: Wikimedia commons
Facebook is not collecting Aadhaar card data: Wikimedia commons

After some reports suggested that Facebook was asking new users in India to enter their names as mentioned in their Aadhaar Card when they sign up for an account, the social media giant clarified that it is not collecting Aadhaar data.

From where the rumor emerged

Facebook said it ran a small test to help new users understand how to sign up to the social network with their real name and connect with their friends and family.

“Some have interpreted this test as a request for people’s Aadhaar information… This is not correct,” the company said in a statement.

“The test, which has now finished, merely includes additional language on the account sign-up page to explain that using their Aadhaar name will help family and friends recognise them,” the statement said.

At the point of account sign-up, users who were part of the test saw language that said, “using the name on your Aadhaar card makes it easier for friends to recognise you.”

The social media giant did not ask participants in the test to provide their Aadhaar number.

Facebook conducted tests just when the Government was linking Aadhaar to the digital world Wikimedia commons
Facebook conducted tests just when the Government was linking Aadhaar to the digital world Wikimedia commons

The test ran with a small number of users in India and Facebook said it currently has no plans to roll out this test further.

“We are not collecting Aadhaar data and do not require people to enter their Aadhaar name when they sign up to Facebook,” the company stressed.

Facebook has over 217 million monthly active users in India and 212 million of them are active on smartphones. It has 2.1 billion monthly active users globally. Facebook-owned WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India.

The Facebook test came at a time when the government is asking citizens to link Aadhaar details with their digital lives.

The government recently extended till March 31, 2018, the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN, mobile numbers and several other schemes. (IANS)

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