AADHAAR-VOTER ID LINKAGE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     9th March 2024        
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Context: Though linking your Aadhaar with your voter ID is optional, a recent petition in the Supreme Court has brought attention to the lack of clarity in the forms for registering electors regarding this choice.

Aadhaar Linking by the EC

  • About: The Election Commission of India initiated the process of linking Aadhaar with Voter IDs on February 15, 2015, under then-Chief Election Commissioner H S Brahma's announcement.
  • Suspension of Aadhaar Linking Drive: The drive to link Aadhaar with the electoral roll was suspended after the Supreme Court's ruling on August 11, 2015, restricting Aadhaar's usage to specific government schemes.
  • EC's Proposal for Aadhaar Linking: In 2019, the EC proposed to link Aadhaar with the electoral roll once again, urging the government to amend election laws for Aadhaar collection.
  • Government's Response and Legislation: The government responded with the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021, passed in December 2021, facilitating Aadhaar and Voter ID linking.
  • Resumption of Aadhaar Collection: Following the Act's enactment, the EC reintroduced the collection of Aadhaar numbers from July 2022, offering it on a voluntary basis through Form 6B and amended registration forms.

Significances of this Linkage

  • Universal Coverage: At the end of 2021, 99.7% of the adult Indian population possessed an Aadhaar card, surpassing the coverage of other official documents like driver’s licenses, ration cards, and PAN cards, which are typically sought for specific purposes.
  • Reliable & Cost-Effective: Aadhaar's biometric authentication feature enhances reliability, making Aadhaar-based verification faster and more cost-efficient compared to other identification methods, thereby streamlining various processes.
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