Cabinet Approves Aadhaar And Other Laws (Amendment) Bill To Make It People-Friendly

New Delhi: In a major move aimed at making Aadhaar making people friendly, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved “The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019” to replace the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019.
The amendments proposed are the same as those contained in the Ordinance promulgated by President on 2nd March, 2019. The Bill will be introduced in ensuing session of Parliament.
The decision is expected to go a long way in meeting the people friendly and citizen-centric nature of Aadhaar.
The decision would enable UIDAI to have a more robust mechanism to serve the public interest and restrain the misuse of Aadhar.
Subsequent to this amendment, no individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament.
For the convenience of general public in opening of bank accounts, the proposed amendments would allow the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The salient features of the amendments are as follows—
Provides for voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of Aadhaar number holder;
Provides for use of twelve-digit Aadhaar number and its alternative virtual identity to conceal the actual Aadhaar number of an individual;
Gives an option to children who are Aadhaar number holders to cancel their Aadhaar number on attaining the age of eighteen years;
Permits the entities to perform authentication only when they are compliant with the standards of privacy and security specified by the Authority; and the authentication is permitted under any law made by Parliament or is prescribed to be in the interest of State by the Central Government;
Allows the use of Aadhaar number for authentication on voluntary basis as acceptable KYC document under the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002;
Proposes deletion of section 57 of the Aadhaar Act relating to use of Aadhaar by private entities;
Prevents denial of services for refusing to, or being unable to, undergo authentication;
Provides for establishment of Unique Identification Authority of India Fund;
Provides for civil penalties, its adjudication, appeal thereof in regard to violations of Aadhaar Act and provisions by entities in the Aadhaar ecosystem.
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 was considered by the Cabinet in its meeting held on 28th February, 2019 and the Ordinance was promulgated by the President on 2nd March, 2019.
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 amongst other things envisaged strengthening of the Aadhaar Act as per the directions of the Supreme Court and recommendations of Justice B.N.Srikrishna(Retd) Committee.
Revenue _ Disaster Management Minister reviews Cyclone FANI restoration works (28)
Bhubaneswar: A high-level meeting was held in the Secretariat today under the chairmanship of the Revenue _ Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marndi to review the status of relief and restoration in the Cyclone FANI affected areas.
The review meeting was held in the office of the (SRC) at Rajiv Bhawan, Bhubaneswar which was attended by the Special Relief Commissioner _ Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Govt., Disaster Management and other officers of the SRC and Odisha State Disaster Management Authority.
In energy sector, extensive damage had occurred to both electrical transmission and distribution infrastructure. For speedy restoration of power supply, manpower was mobilized from DISCOMs, Electrical Contractors, CPSUs like NTPC, PGCIL _ NALCO, Corporate houses like Tata Power and L_ T, State Power Companies from West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala _ Karnataka. In the meantime, nearly 100] of electricity restoration has been done in all the affected districts except Puri. In Puri district, electricity has been restored to nearly 3.00 Lakh out of 3.88 Lakh affected consumers. The balance restoration work is very likely to be completed in the next 10 days as informed by the Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Energy Department. Besides timeliness, Hon’ble Minister stressed on the quality of restoration.
Drinking Water
It was reported by the Panchayati Raj _ Drinking Water Department and the Housing _ Urban Development Department that water supply has been normalised in both rural and urban areas. Where electricity supply has not been restored, the pumps are being operated through generators. Additionally, water tankers and 7 mobile water treatment plants have been deployed for the supply of potable drinking water in the affected areas. Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Energy Department indicated that electricity restoration had been done to 2523 out of 2886 affected drinking water sources and balance work would be done by 20th of this month. The Panchayati Raj _ Drinking Water Department indicated that it was procuring 8 more mobile water treatment plants soon which would be very useful at the time disasters in the future.
Repair of School Buildings
As many as 173 school buildings in Puri district and 11 in Khordha district have been fully damaged in the cyclone ‘FANI’. Hon’ble Minister expressed his concern for running of these schools after reopening of the schools on 19th June after the summer vacation. Special Secretary, School _ Mass Education Department indicated that since reconstruction school buildings would take some time, necessary alternative arrangements were being made for running of those schools in the nearby schools, other educational institutions, cyclone shelters and other Government buildings. Hon’ble Minister asked the concerned department maintaining the school buildings such as Works, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj _ Drinking Water and Housing _ Urban Development Departments to take necessary steps for immediate repair/ restoration of the damaged school buildings in a time bound manner to facilitate running of the school.
Another major area where substantial damage has occurred due to cyclone ‘FANI’ is to the forest resources. Special Secretary, Forest _ Environment Department indicated that the Department has planned for planting 1.05 crore trees this year. He also mentioned about the Department’s plan for taking up coastal shelter belt plantation in an area of 6000 hectares in next 5 years.
Restoration of Health Infrastructure
Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department indicated that as many as 1030 health institution buildings were damaged in the cyclone. Immediate repair has already been done to these damaged buildings.
Water Resources Department
The Chief Engineer, Flood Control _ Basin Manager, Lower Mahanadi Basin, WR Department informed that mostly saline embankments and various buildings of WR Department were damaged due to the cyclone. In the meantime, all breaches occurred on saline embankments have been closed. Steps are being taken to complete the remaining damaged infrastructure.
The status of restoration in other sectors was also reviewed in the meeting. Hon’ble Minister, Revenue _ Disaster Management observed that the State should remain prepared to combat any disaster whether natural or manmade including industrial and chemical disasters. Hon’ble Minister observed that whenever construction of any school or college or other Government building was being taken up in cyclone-prone areas, cyclone resilient design must be adopted for such construction. He also enquired about the functioning of the existing two Doppler Weather Radar Stations at Paradip and Gopalpur and directed to closely follow up with the Central Government for installation of Radars at the two stations Sambalpur and Balasore.
Among others, Shri G. C. Dhal, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Dr. Saurabh Garg, Principal Secretary, Agriculture _ Formers Welfare Department, Dhri Ashok K. K. Meena, Principal Secretary, Finance Department, Shri N. B. Dhal, Principal Secretary, Revenue _ Disaster Management Department, Shri Bishnupada Sethi, Special Relief Commissioner _ Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Disaster Management, Shri Hemant Sharma, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Energy Department, Dr. P. K. Meherda, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Health _ Family Welfare Department, Shri Bhaskar Jyoti Sarma, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Science _ Technology Department, Shri R. Vineel Krishna, Additional Special Relief Commissioner, Dr. S. Panda, Special Secretary, Forest _ Environment Department and other Senior Officers of various Departments were present in the meeting.
In another related development, the State Government today released Rs.123.90 crore to the Collectors of Puri, Khordha and Cuttack districts (severely affected by cyclone FANI) for payment of different assistance such as House Building Assistance, Assistance for Clothing _ Utensils, Assistance to the fishermen for replacement/ repair of damaged nets and boats, fish ponds, fish seed farms and replacement of drought and milch animals. This is in addition to Rs.197.59 crore which was released to Collector, Puri on 10.6.2016 for disbursement towards house building assistance. District-wise details are indicated in the table below.
So far, a total amount of Rs.1481.05 crore has been released to different departments and Collectors of the affected districts for various relief and restoration measures relating to Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’, a press note by the Revenue _ Disaster Management stated.

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