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Telangana Benefit Disbursement Portal shows dropping authentication success ratio in 2018 with regard to NREGA and social pensions at 86.14% – it was 90.99% in December, 2017, and 91.87% in November, 2017. This is an average failure of at least 10% authentication, and growing in the last few months
Of 10-15 lakh beneficiaries, every month at least a lakh beneficiaries were facing trouble, mostly inordinate delay or sometimes denial of benefits. Biometric mismatch, invalid biometrics, biometrics missing from the central depository, duplicate biometrics, lack of internet facilities and technological issues were the major reasons for authentication failure. Officials claim some of the failed transactions were not genuine.
HYDERABAD: Unique Identification Authority of India chief executive officer (CEO) Ajay Bhushan Pandey on Sunday, during an interaction on Twitter on 'Data Privacy Day', categorically said no one can be denied ration or pension or any other entitlement due to lack of Aadhaar.
Contrary to what UIDAI has been advocating, at least 10% social pensioners and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) Scheme workers in Telangana are struggling to get benefits due to Aadhaar authentication issues every month.
According to Telangana Benefit Disbursement Portal, authentication success ratio in 2018 with regard to NREGA and social pensions is 86.14%, whereas it was 90.99% in December, 2017, and 91.87% in November, 2017, indicating failure of at least 10% authentication.
Of 10-15 lakh beneficiaries, every month at least a lakh beneficiaries were facing trouble, mostly inordinate delay or sometimes denial of benefits. The situation is similar in Andhra Pradesh too. Biometric mismatch, invalid biometrics, biometrics missing from the central depository, duplicate biometrics, lack of internet facilities and technological issues were the major reasons for authentication failure. Officials claim some of the failed transactions were not genuine. In Andhra Pradesh, a large number of Aadhaar numbers were being cancelled every month by UIDAI. Interestingly, there are cases where Aadhaar numbers don't exist in servers/database.
A study, conducted by NALSAR student Srujana Bej in Hyderabad, had revealed that 10% households were now excluded due to Aadhaar-based biometric authentication system and a majority of reported errors were due to technological components.
'No one shall be denied benefits'
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said on Twitter, "Section 7 of Aadhaar Act says for entitlement like PDS, Aadhaar number is required. It also says if someone doesn't have Aadhaar, benefits and subsidies can be given through alternate means of identification. The government of India has issued circulars on this. No one shall be denied any benefits if violations are taking place at the local level. The matter has to be taken to the local authority. It has to be rectified by local authorities. As far as UIDAI is concerned, there shall be no denial."
Telangana rural development department joint commissioner B Saidulu told TOI, "Authentication failure in 10% cases is an exaggerated figure. There could be 2-3% cases. If anyone in the family is facing fingerprint (biometric) issues, we are authorising other wage seekers on the job card to take the money. If the problem persists, payment mode can change from postal department to bank accounts."
Civil supplies department said it was not denying ration to any beneficiary. "Authentication failures are few in the public distribution system as 100% Aadhaar seeding has been achieved," civil supplies commissioner C V Anand told TOI.
"In remote areas, due to internet problems, biometric verification could not be done at times. Of 17,000 PDS shops in Telangana, perhaps 100 to 200 shops in remote hamlets may be facing net connectivity issues. We have issued instructions to PDS dealers not to deny ration (to beneficiaries) due to lack of authentication as it is a serious matter," he added.