a small update on jan dhan yojana

a quick and dirty story on jan dhan yojana.

The aggregate numbers are designed to impress — 6.99 crore accounts have already been opened since PM Narendra Modi launched Jan Dhan Yojana on Independence Day, according to pmjdy.gov.in, a government website. But several concerns lie hidden beneath those numbers.


modi. dbt. jayalalitha. tn.

Resisting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for direct benefits transfer using Aadhaar, Tamil Nadu has refused to share list of its welfare scheme beneficiaries for matching with Aadhaar numbers, saying a hasty cross-checking exercise could end up denying benefits to hundreds of poor.

the latest question on aadhaar

…While researching this story, ET reviewed two drafts produced by the Department of Financial Services – one in June, and the second in July. The draft dated 8 July, 2014, says: “This account would be linked with the Aadhaar number of the account holder and would become the single point for receipt of Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) from Government/Local Bodies.”

According to a source close to the UIDAI, who spoke to ET on the condition of anonymity, this phrasing suggests that while Aadhaar numbers might be seeded into bank accounts, it might not be used for authentication. In other words, once the cash flows into the Aadhaar-linked bank account, last-mile authentication when the money is being withdrawn will be done using the authentication systems of either the relevant bank or the last-mile service provider – like a Banking Correspondent (BC) company.

Not using Aadhaar for last mile authentication has significant fallouts for the UIDAI. Which, among other things, has the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System as one of its key components, and sees authentication services as one of its principal functions and revenue streams.

a small update on the ongoing churn over aadhaar and dbt. a purely online story, this.

nilekani meets modi, saves aadhaar

There is enough evidence to suggest that the crucial July 1 meeting between Nilekani, the prime minister and the FM, brought forth a volte face in the government stand on UIDAI. Only two days before this, on July 3, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Telecom, IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Planning Minister Rao Inderjeet Singh had met with top officials to discuss UIDAI versus the National Population Register (NPR), an entity under the home ministry that conducts the decadal census. The conclusions did not favour UIDAI in the form it was running till then.

a story by my colleague vikas dhoot and me which goes some way in explaining a surprising about-turn by the government re the aadhaar project.

on aadhaar, npr and the nda

my colleague and friend vikas dhoot and i have this update on the continuing aadhaar and npr saga.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has backed the UPA’s Aadhaar programme for now, but that may not be the final word on whether it will be retained. The government has asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which runs Aadhaar, and the census office under the home ministry to test their databases against beneficiary lists of schemes such as the LPG subsidy programme as well as documents such as passports to determine which one is more accurate, said senior government officials aware of the development. “Line ministries in charge of different schemes like education subsidy, LPG cylinders and identity documents such as passports, have been requested to share data to enable this matching exercise,” said one of the officials.

upa1 vs upa2

and so, upa2 presented its final budget – a vote on account – yesterday. and i wrote this quick little story comparing the developmental efforts of upa1 and upa2.

the upa puts dbt-lpg on hold

out today, this story by my colleague yogima seth and me on a surprise decision by the upa to pause its DBT programme for LPG.

The government’s decision to put the Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfer (DBT) for cooking gas on hold could be a blow to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), set up as one of the United Progressive Alliance’s flagship initiatives and aimed at ensuring that subsidies reached the right beneficiaries without fraudsters and middlemen ripping them off.  Ahead of elections, the government is at pains not to risk alienating any constituency, having already sustained heavy defeats in recent state elections, some of these in areas where the programme has been rolled out. Oil minister Veerappa Moily attributed the decision on Thursday to complaints about implementation of the scheme.