Every family in J-K to get a unique ID; political parties raise concerns
The Jammu and Kashmir administration is planning to create a database of all families living in the Union Territory while allotting them a unique alpha-numeric code, reported Press Trust of India
The Jammu and Kashmir administration is planning to create a database of all families living in the Union Territory while allotting them a unique alpha-numeric code, reported Press Trust of India.
The objective of the database or the ‘Family ID’ is to create a system for easy selection of eligible beneficiaries of various social welfare schemes.
“The aim of creating the database, which will be equivalent to Haryana’s ‘ParivarParivar Prakash Patra’ is that families or individuals do not need to apply for benefits under each individual scheme,” said PrernaPuri, commissioner secretary of the IT department.
“Once the data is verified and authenticated in the JK Family ID database, a beneficiary will not need to submit any further document to avail of the service,” he said.
The data available in the family database will be used by the administration to determine eligibility through the automatic selection of beneficiaries to receive social benefits. The database will identify every family in Jammu and Kashmir and collect their basic data in a digital format with the consent of the family.
The identity card will have a unique eight-digit alphanumeric number to identify each family and its members through the head of the family. The card will contain details of all members of the family, including their names, ages, qualifications, employment status, etc. reported Indian Express.
The card will be linked with the and bank account number of the head of the family. It will be a single identifier for every family and individual in the UT, which will instantly confirm their eligibility for government welfare schemes and facilitate direct transfer of benefits to their bank accounts with minimum human interference, as per Indian Express.
The move is part of the unveiled by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at an e-governance conference held in Katra city of Reasi district last month, according to the news agency.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hailed the move, while Kashmiri parties and the Congress have raised privacy concerns over the database, describing it as a “surveillance tool to keep a watch on Kashmiris."
According to the vision document released last month, the data in the JK Family ID database would be used to determine “eligibility through automatic selection of beneficiaries for receiving social benefits."
“The database would identify each and every family in J&K and would collect the basic data of the family, provided with the consent of the family, in a digital format,” the document added. The compilation and management of the database will follow the applicable laws and regulations of data protection in India.
The Commissioner secretary added that the J&k Government should work on an information security policy to “thwart threats and protect sensitive and important data.”
“It also envisages the creation of a proper cyber security framework,” he said.
The database will help to identify and weed out duplicate ration cards and Aadhaar, and will help the government identify families that may have a number of educated youth, but without jobs. While the Aadhaar contains information about an individual, the family ID card will collate information about families to help in the delivery of welfare schemes, officials said.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Ravinder Sharma questioned the government’s “intention and ability to protect such digital databases from cyber-attacks" and said "why does the government want to look into everything?"
“They already have enough data through Aadhaar and are disbursing benefits through direct bank transfer (DBT) mode,” he added.
Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted that the decision is “emblematic of the widening trust deficit” between Kashmiris and the authorities.
“Kashmiris are viewed with deep suspicion & this is another surveillance tactic to tighten the iron grip on their lives,” Mufti said.