Should electoral ID data be linked to Aadhaar?

The issue of linking India’s voters’ list with the Aadhaar database is in news again with the surreptitious passage of The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Parliament recently. The fact that it was passed hurriedly with hardly any discussion is enough to raise suspicion. But there is more to it, and part of that is contained in the history of this idea.

That history began March 3, 2015: The Election Commission of India (ECI) launched “a comprehensive programme” — the National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP) — “with the prime objective of bringing a totally error-free and authenticated electoral roll”.

One of the stated objectives of the NERPAP was linking EPIC (Electoral Photo Identity Card) data with the Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) Aadhaar data with the laudable objective of authenticating the EPIC data.

The ECI took up this programme with a lot of enthusiasm. By August 2015, when the Supreme Court ordered a ban on this linking, 320 million voters had already been linked to their

— source downtoearth.org.in | Jagdeep S Chhokar | 15 Jan 2022

Nullius in verba


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