• The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued the Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations 2019.
• The gazette notification has mandated private organisations using Aadhaar services to pay Rs 20 for each customer verification and 50 paise for authentication of the unique ID.
• Organizations have been mandated to pay for the service based on usage within 15 days of raising an invoice by the authority. Delays in payment would attract interest and could lead to discontinuation of authentication and e-KYC services.
• Recently, the government had approved the promulgation of an Ordinance to make amendments to the Aadhaar Act 2016, Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2005 & Indian Telegraph Act 1885. The amendments proposed are the same as those contained in the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The Ordinance was necessitated as the bill though passed by Lok Sabha was pending in the Rajya Sabha and would have lapsed with the dissolution of the current Lok Sabha.
• The ordinance has allowed voluntary use of the Aadhaar number to authenticate both offline and online. It has also mandated that the entities should perform authentication only after they are compliant with privacy standards and security specified by the UIDAI.
• It has also deleted section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. Section 57 relates to the use of Aadhaar by private entities. These amendments are in pursuance to the Supreme Court judgement in 2018. The Supreme Court had upheld that the Aadhaar is constitutionally valid but struck down section 57 of the Aadhaar Act.
• The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of Aadhaar Act 2016 under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. It is mandated to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID)-“Aadhaar”, to all residents of India.
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: UIDAI
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