On April 20, 2023, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, released a press statement proposing rules to enable Aadhaar authentication by non-governmental entities. The aim of this proposal is to promote ease of living and better access to services for citizens. MeitY has invited feedback on the amendments from stakeholders and the general public. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of the proposed rules and their potential impact.
The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, was amended in 2019 to allow entities to perform Aadhaar authentication if they comply with the privacy and security standards specified by regulations and are permitted by law to offer authentication services or seek authentication for a prescribed purpose. Currently, only government ministries and departments are allowed to undertake Aadhaar authentication under the Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation, Knowledge) Rules, 2020, in the interest of good governance, preventing leakage of public funds, and enabling innovation and the spread of knowledge.
Under the proposed rules, any entity other than a government ministry or department can use Aadhaar authentication for promoting ease of living, enabling better access to services, ensuring good governance through digital platforms, preventing dissipation of social welfare benefits, and enabling innovation and the spread of knowledge. However, the entity must prepare a proposal justifying how the authentication sought is for one of the said purposes and in the interest of the State. The proposal must be submitted to the concerned ministry or department of the Central Government in respect of Central subjects and of the State Government in respect of State subjects. If the Ministry/Department is of the opinion that the proposal fulfills such a purpose and is in the interest of the State, it will forward the proposal along with its recommendation to MeitY.
The proposed amendments have been posted on the MeitY website, and comments are being invited from stakeholders and the general public until May 5, 2023. Feedback can be submitted through the MyGov platform.
Draft amendments to the Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance Rules, 2020: To enable performance of Aadhaar authentication by entities other than Ministries and Departments of the Central Government and State Governments for prescribed purposes (dated 20/04/2023)
If the proposed rules are implemented, they will enable non-governmental entities to use Aadhaar authentication for various purposes. This move will promote ease of living and better access to services for citizens. It will also enable the prevention of dissipation of social welfare benefits, ensure good governance through digital platforms, and encourage innovation and the spread of knowledge.
The proposed rules to enable Aadhaar authentication by non-governmental entities is a step towards making Aadhaar people-friendly and promoting ease of living for citizens. MeitY’s invitation for feedback is an excellent opportunity for stakeholders and the general public to share their thoughts on the proposed amendments. If implemented, the proposed rules will have a significant impact on how non-governmental entities use Aadhaar authentication in India.