The central government is reportedly trying to restart Aadhaar services in nearly 3 lakh Common Service Centres (CSC), in rural areas across the country, the minister for electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad reportedly said on Tuesday (November 27).
Prasad said that the CSCs are playing a significant role in the process of ensuring that government welfare schemes and services are available to every citizen at their doorstep. He added that there is no other model which can support people living in rural areas.
CSCs were initiated under the Digital India programme to act as access points for social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, educational and agricultural services in remote areas. With the drive to integrate government schemes under Aadhaar, CSCs were also entrusted with Aadhaar registrations and its related biometric data.
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However in February, the Aadhaar-regulatory body Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) refused to renew the registrar agreement of CSC Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV), which manages the implementation of the CSC scheme, citing a rise in allegations of corruption by CSC operators.
This year, several of the Aadhaar leak instances happened via the common service centres across the country.
Earlier in January an investigative report from The Tribune revealed that some unidentified groups were selling confidential Aadhaar data including biometrics at just $7.07 (INR 500).
In May Aadhaar data of thousands was leaked from the servers of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). However, the government organisation denied the data breach and said that in order to ensure data protection, EPFO had closed down the server and host service through CSC pending vulnerability checks.
The CSC scheme along with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) had together launched the Aadhaar-enabled payment system to provide social security pension, handicap, and old age pension via Aadhaar authentication.
[The development was reported by ET]