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NRIs bear the brunt of biometric ID linkage
By Ashraf Padanna January 04, 2018
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TRIVANDRUM: The non-resident Indians are finding it difficult to access government services for the insistence of Aadhaar, the biometric ID.

Started out as a voluntary programme to help tackle benefit fraud, the federal government has now made it mandatory, but the NRIs are not entitled to enrol.

The land registration authorities are also insisting on Aadhaar for India’s ambitious programme to digitise land records to prevent fraudulent transactions.

“The insistence on Aadhaar without allowing you to take one is, to put it simply, inhuman,” said KV Shamsudheen, director of the Dubai-based Barjeel Securities, who was here this week to digitise his land documents.

“Now you need an Aadhaar number for everything, from your son taking public exams to get cooking gas or telephone connection back home. The banks are reminding you every day to seed your Aadhaar if you want to avoid services getting disrupted.” Shamsudheen had acquired an Aadhaar five years back when there was no compulsion. So he had no problem to get his documents digitised at Chathamangalam village office in his home district of Kozhikode.

“The village officer told me that landowners have to produce the title deed, revenue receipt and Aadhaar card. But those who had missed the chance to enrol would face the music,” he said.

“Aadhaar may be the world’s largest and most technologically ambitious digital identification project. But it’s turning to be a nightmare for us, the NRIs.” The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, says only a resident individual is entitled to obtain the unique identification number with biometric data.

It defines a resident as an individual who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 182 days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment.

India launched digitisation of land records in 2008 aimed at modernising management of land records, minimising property disputes, enhancing transparency and eventually facilitating guaranteed titles to immovable properties.

The major components are computerisation of all records including mutations, digitisation of maps and integration of textual and spatial data, survey and updating settlement records.

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