Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 64
(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Significant Issues in Indian Administration)
(Current Based) Question: Aadhaar cannot tackle PDS corruption, it can be only eradicated through greater transparency and effective accountability. Comment. (15 Marks/200 Words)
Those who are not enrolled in the Aadhaar database are unable to apply for ration cards. Even if someone has an Aadhaar number, but it is not “linked”, benefits are denied. In states like Jharkhand and Rajasthan, if the biometrics of beneficiaries don’t match or the cardholder cannot be present in person, they are unable to access their entitlements.
Narendra Modi government came to power on the promise of fighting corruption and ensuring effective service delivery. However, instead of operationalising anti-corruption legislation like the Lokpal or implementing the grievance redress and social audit provisions in various laws, the government has been pushing Aadhaar as the ultimate solution to corruption.
This is inexplicable as Aadhaar can, at best, tackle only identity fraud. In programmes like the PDS, the major reason for corruption is quantity and quality fraud with ration shopkeepers refusing to give people their full share of rations or pilfering good quality foodgrain and replacing them with poor quality stock. Aadhaar can do nothing to tackle this corruption, which can only be eradicated through greater transparency and effective accountability measures.
In the Global Hunger Index 2017, India ranked 100 among 119 countries. The point is: Instead of ensuring delivery of essential foodgrains, can the country afford to adopt systems which exclude the most vulnerable. (Total Words- 214)
Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Opinion ‘Aadhaar Of Injustice’ by Anjali Bhardwaj & Amrita Johri
(Linkages: Aadhaar and Fighting Corruption, Aadhaar and Exclusion of Vulnerables, Aadhaar and Linking Issues)