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Government launches Aadhaar Seeding Application  

The Union Ministry of Labour & Employment has launched Aadhaar Seeding Application for efficient service delivery and widening the reach of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) benefits.

It was launched at the 217th special meeting of the Central Board of Employees Provident Fund (CBEPF/EPFO) in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Minster of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya.

Key Facts
  • The seeding application has been developed by the EPFO with the support of Common Service Centres (CSC) and CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing).
  • It has been developed in pursuance of the government’s policy for optimum use of information technology for efficient service delivery and widening the reach of benefits to people.
  • The application will enable a provident fund member or pensioner walk into any field offices of the EPFO or CSC outlets with UAN (Universal Account Number) and Aadhaar and seed the Aadhaar with the UAN. 

About Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO)

  • EPFO is a statutory body established under Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
  • It is administered by a Board known as Central Board of Trustees headed by Union Labour Minister.
  • It administers (i) Employees Provident Fund scheme (ii) Employees’ Pension Scheme (iii) Employees Deposit linked Insurance scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India.
  • It is one of the largest social security organisations in India in terms volume of financial transactions undertaken and number of covered beneficiaries. 

Common Service Centres (CSC): They are ICT enabled front end service delivery points at the village level for delivery of government and private services. They are a strategic cornerstone of the Digital India programme. They are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India.

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Gujarat Assembly passes Aadhaar Bill, 2017

The Gujarat Assembly has passed Gujarat Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017.

The bill seeks to empower the state government to use Aadhaar number as the sole identifier for the delivery of various subsidies and benefits in an effective and targeted manner. 

Key Facts
  • By linking the Aadhhaar number with various schemes will help the state government create a credible system to authenticate the identity of actual beneficiaries.
  • As of now, Gujarat government provides various subsidies and financial assistance to the citizens under 119 schemes using RTGS or through cheques.
  • This bill will ensure more accurate, targeted and efficient delivery of such disbursements using Aadhaar number.
  • All the residents of Gujarat above 18 years have been issued Aadhaar cards, moreover 85% citizens in the age group of 5 to 18 have been issued such cards having unique identification number.

Background

The Bill has been framed as per the Central Aadhaar Act, passed by the Parliament in 2016. The central act empowers the state governments to introduce similar laws for targeted delivery of subsidies and benefits by linking Aadhaar number of each beneficiary.

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Government makes Aadhaar mandatory for MGNREGA work

The Union Government has made mandatory for workers in rural areas enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) to have an Aadhaar card.

Those who have registered under the scheme will be required to give furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar card or undergo the enrolment process till March 31, 2017.

Key Facts
  • For this purpose, government has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits aadharand services) Act, 2016.
  • This section allows Government to ask an individual to undergo authentication or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar when the government gives subsidy, benefit or service from Consolidated Fund of India (CFI).
  • The rationale behind making Aadhaar cards mandatory for the MGNREGA is to prevent leakages of subsidies and ensure that the beneficiaries get their due.
  • It will ensure effective implementation of the Aadhaar-linked Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme aimed at checking leakages of welfare funds.
  • Under DBT scheme, all cash benefits are transferred to beneficiary’s bank account. Union Government has asked its departments and State governments to widen scope of DBT to include all monetary transfers.
  • Note: The expenditure for the MGNREGS is met by Government from the Consolidated Fund of India.

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