Sometimes we wonder why should we keep so many identity cards for different purposes? To make a new one or to have corrections on any identity card one citizen has to pass through several harassments and to incur several expenditures. People living in remote areas or you can take the case of senior citizens who are not well-versed with internet and digital media, they use to stand in queues wasting their time for several identification drives by the government.
Let us analyze several identity cards and their purposes:
(i) Aadhar Card
Aadhar card is the card which identifies you with bio-metric details. This card is issued for ensuring all the welfare measures of the government to reach the people. Aadhar card is also being issued to the newborn baby also. After all, it is an identity card.
(ii) Voter ID Card
The Voter ID Card or Electoral ID Card identifies you as an eligible voter in your country in the way that your name is registered in the list of Election Commission of India. It is issued to an individual who has attained the age of 18 years and has become eligible for voting. So, it is an identity card to achieve the voting right.
(iii) PAN Card
PAN Card is the identification of your income tax account. It is the ten-character alphanumeric identifier of the ‘Permanent Account Number’ issued by the Indian Income Tax Department. It is also a unique number that helps in a money transaction. It is not only issued for an individual but companies also.
(iv) Driving License
A Driving License is an identification for you that you are an eligible driver and your name is registered in Motor Vehicles authority. It is a document that authorises a person to operate various types of motor vehicles on several roads according to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. It is also a unique identity for operating vehicles. It is issued after passing motor vehicle tests.
(v) Ration Card
Ration Card is the official document issued by the State Government. It is also a kind of identity card by which a person or family get eligibility to purchase food grain at subsidized rates. These food grains are distributed through the Public Distribution System under the National Food Security Act. Ration Card has also been serving as a common form of identity to many Indians from the past.
Three types of ration cards are issued by the state governments in India like APL, BPL and AAY. APL (Above Poverty Line) ration cards are issued to the families living above the poverty line. BPL (Below Poverty Line) ration cards are issued to the families living below the poverty line. AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) ration cards are issued to the families marked as ‘poorest of poor’.
Passport is another identity for an Indian citizen. It is essential for a foreign tour and is issued to those who travel to other countries. Passport is issued in adult individuals and for children also. A passport is a standardized form of international recognition.
Now, we have analyzed that Driving License and Passport have different purposes and uses also. So, these two cards may not be mixed-up with other identity cards. But, Voter ID Card and PAN Card may be resolved into one identity. The databases of PAN Card and Voter ID Card should be accumulated into the Aadhar Card database.
As we know that Aadhar Card carries bio-metric details of a person, so it should be treated as an identity of Indian citizenship. Nowadays, Aadhar Card is mandatory to link into a bank account and LPG connection. PAN card is also mandatory to link with a bank account.
So, Aadhar Card should be powerful enough to identify a person as an Indian citizen, as well as banking transactions and other purposes. Hence, Voter ID Card should no longer be required. Similarly, details of a PAN Card should be assembled in Aadhar database so that any person who is eligible to pay income tax can pay it through the Aadhar Card. No separate PAN card should be required then.
Data safety is very much needed in India
The more identity cards are made, the more frauds can be done with them, thereby more vigilance should be required in monitoring them. Several reports revealed that the terrorist groups are using fake Voter ID Cards to spread their members in the disguise of common people in India. Similarly, Aadhar Cards are also being made to produce fake identity by the terrorist group members.
In the year 2017, Aadhar Card data of 130 million people leaked from several government websites. It showed that data-safety is very much essential for these identities of the people. If unique identities of the people become limited, strict monitoring will also become easier for the government. Only then, the citizens of India will have to face fewer harassments than before.
Until and unless 100% of the people become well-versed with internet and digital India, both online and manual procedure should be kept. Instead of so many identity cards, Aadhar can cover-up all the important information like citizenship, electoral identity, ability to pay income tax, address, phone number, email address etc. with a high level of security.