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

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Adhaar Card. adharcardstatusonline.com

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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Demonetisation, Aadhaar Spurred Digital Payments Growth: RBI

Pointing to a major area for improvement, the study showed that only three per cent of the population in India used the Internet to pay utility bills in 2017

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long term impact on Real Estate
Demonetisation aided with RERA and GST will put long term impact on Real Estate. Pixabay.

After the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in 2016 pushed digital payments, Aadhaar-enabled electronic know your customer (eKYC) resulted in an exponential growth of such payments in the country, according to a new report by the Reserve Bank of India.

Transactions in which both the payer and the payee use digital modes to send and receive money are referred to as digital or electronic payments.

India recorded an accelerated growth rate of over 50 per cent in the volume of retail electronic payment transactions in the last four years, said the report titled “Benchmarking India’s Payment Systems”.

The growth in 2018-19 was largely due to the steep growth in Unified Payments Interface (UPI), it added.

“In India, the smartphone revolution has seen an explosion in digital payment options, from e-Money to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to a combination of the two. After demonetisation, the use of e-Money picked up on a very large scale,” the findings showed.

The digital landscape changed with higher usage of e-Money, UPI, Aadhaar Payments Bridge System (APBS), RuPay, and Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), among others.

With 3,459 million e-Money transactions, India was only behind Japan and the US (data on China not available) in 2017 with respect to volume of e-Money transactions, the report said.

The study revealed that over the years, the number of debit and credit cards also increased considerably in India.

Aadhaar Card Reader Logo. Source: Wikimedia

India had 331.60 million and 19.55 million debit and credit cards respectively at the end of 2012. The numbers grew to 861.7 million and 37.49 million respectively at the end of 2017.

By March 31, 2019, the number of debit and credit cards issued were 925 million and 47 million, respectively.

However, the study showed that the cost of digital transactions was a factor inhibiting their growth.

Merchants have to cash out or transfer to their banks accounts at a cost and at times these costs are passed on to the consumer.

“A few countries have tried to regulate costs to ensure that the charges are not usurious, but the jury is still out on whether such a regulation promotes the growth of digital payments. With banks pushing and merchants pulling, it isn’t clear if such caps will discourage the use of cash,” the report added.

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Pointing to a major area for improvement, the study showed that only three per cent of the population in India used the Internet to pay utility bills in 2017.

The report compared the payment ecosystem in India with the systems and usage trends in other major countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Britain and the US. (IANS)