Pallavi Polanki writes:
By linking the launch of the flagship direct cash transfer (DCT) scheme to another controversial mega-project – Aadhaar or unique identification numbers – UPA-II seems to have taken a big risk.
On 30 November, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the government in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that has challenged the legal basis for the formation of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) headed by Nandan Nilekani. The apex court has asked the government to respond to why the issue of Aadhaar numbers should not be put on hold, as sought by the petition.
A stay, if granted, will pull the plug (till the petition is disposed) on the massive nationwide process of issuing Aadhaar numbers. This, in turn, could bring to a screeching halt the direct cash transfer scheme that depends on beneficiaries having or acquiring Aadhaar numbers, since the 12-digit number has been chosen as the sole basis for opening bank accounts into which cash will be transferred.
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