The Government of India claims that Aadhar will make life easier for the common man by helping “provide access to services like banking, mobile phone connections and other Govt and Non-Govt services.”
However, it appears the Government’s excessive eagerness to implement Aadhar will add misery to the already miserable common man.
A case in point is The National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme conducted by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), which was “set up to facilitate the development and upgrading of the skills of the growing Indian workforce through skill training programs”. This Scheme aims to “provide monetary incentives for successful completion of market-driven skill training to approximately ten lakh youth in a span of one year from the date of implementation of the scheme.”
Under the Scheme, a Trainee who has undergone skill training under any approved training program conducted by an authorized institution and receives Skill Certification from an approved assessment agency receives a monetary reward, which ranges from Rs. 7,500 to Rs. 15,000 depending on the training (s)he has undergone. This reward amount is paid by NSDC by direct transfer into the Trainee’s bank account.
Normally, a Trainee has to pay for the training and assessment fees upfront to the Training Provider. Upon certification, instruction will be sent to bank to credit the monetary award to the registered account number with 10 days.
However, the Training Partner can also provide upto 75% credit to candidates. In this case, the Trainee has to authorize her/his bank to transfer the credit amount to the Training Provider as soon as the reward money is credited to her/his account.
The Scheme has been well-designed, except for one small but significant condition: the NSDC website states, “At the time of registration, it is desirable that the trainee shares the Aadhar number with the Training partner. In case the Aadhar number is not available at the time of registration, it is mandatory to share the mobile number. While the trainee can undergo training without an Aadhar number, certificate generation and monetary award is not possible without the Aadhar number. The trainee must get an Aadhar number before assessment and certification is completed. The Training Provider may support the trainee in the creation of the Aadhar number before training completion.”
NSDC is inadvertently, but effectively ensuring that potential Trainees who do not have an Aadhar number cannot benefit from this Scheme because:
1. Since assessment and certification is not possible without the Aadhar number, Trainees not having an Aadhar number would not enrol for skill training under this scheme even if they are willing to take the risk of forgoing the monetary award.
2. Training Providers will not offer credit to Trainees who do not have an Aadhar number at the time of registration. This would badly affect economically disadvantaged persons who would not be able to enrol for the training if they do not get credit. It must be noted that “the Training Provider may support the trainee in the creation of the Aadhar number”. Clearly, the Training Provider is not obliged to provide this support.
The problem is even more severe in states where Aadhar enrolments currently do not happen.
Passport, Ration Card, Voter Identity Card, Driving Licence, Bank Passbook, PAN Card, etc. are accepted as proof of Identity, Age and Address by banks, insurance companies, and other organizations.
Then, why has NSDC made the Aadhar number mandatory, particularly when the UIDAI website itself clearly states that Aadhar is “a voluntary service that every resident can avail” and “isn’t mandatory for every Indian resident who has identification documents”?
Is Aadhar more important than NSDC’s stated objective, which is “to facilitate the development and upgrading of the skills of the growing Indian workforce through skill training programs”?