India’s national biometric ID program continues to expand in the country, with a new government directive requiring rural workers to register via Aadhaar in order to continue receiving subsidies.
The directive applies to workers receiving government subsidies through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, or MGNREGS, which helps to ensure an income for rural workers engaged in at least a hundred days of labor per year. Effective April 1st, such workers will need to have enrolled in the program using their Aadhaar numbers in order to continue receiving the benefit.
A government official explained the measure as one meant to ensure both that entitled workers are receiving their benefits, and that subsidies are not obtained fraudulently, according to a report from The Hindu. That rationale is very much in line with the overall aims of Aadhaar, which is meant to help reduce corruption and improve transparency with respect to government services.
There are now well over a billion Indian citizens enrolled in the Aadhaar program.
January 9, 2017 – by Alex Perala