Defending government's effort to make Aadhaar mandatory, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) claims that making it mandatory can help curb terror financing and black money.
"There is scope to improve the ‘Aadhaar Act'," said Pandey in his first interview after deposing before the Supreme Court.
Edited Excerpts: People do not understand why the Aadhaar card, which was meant to be about financial inclusion and getting ghosts out of the system, has become something that the government wants to force people into? Why should the Aadhar card be made mandatory for somebody who doesn’t want to link it to their bank account or mobile number? What is it in it that government has failed to explain and articulate clearly to the country?
Let me explain that Aadhaar programme was started in 2010 and since then we have given Aadhaar to more than 1.2 billion people.
Today, the Aadhaar is perhaps the most widely held identity in our country. If you take any other identity for example, how many people have passports? Maybe about 5 crore. How many have a voter ID card?
The other problem that happened is that even though somebody had an ID, that was only a domain specific. For example, if you have a voter ID card, you will be using it for voting purposes but it was also being used as a proxy identity card for something else because there was no nationally accepted identity card. For example, if someone from Tamil Nadu brings a ration card written in Tamil and if he wants to live in Delhi, would he be able to get any services based on his Tamil Nadu ID card or even Tamil Nadu voter ID card? This was a big problem for the people within our own country that he was having an identity at one part and the moment he moved out to some other place, he does not had identity.
This Aadhaar was to empower people with an identity through which he can prove it anywhere anytime. For example, he wanted to open a bank account, so he goes and gives his Aadhaar number and he proves his identity and he is able to open a bank account. In this manner, first it was being used for removing the ghosts and duplicates and fakes.
Now the second part came, which was that our whole system – if you see the incidents of black money and terror financing, for the last 15 years, a number of committees were constituted. Justice MB Shah Committee on black money also clearly stated that there is a need for a central identity through, which the duplicate PAN cards and bank accounts can be weeded out because it was found that in some cases, fake bank accounts were opened through fictitious PAN cards. You have layers of shell companies where the real person's identity was not known.
The reason to make the Aadhaar card mandatory is to eliminate black money and to eliminate shell companies from the system.
Exactly, because the Aadhaar has been made mandatory for PAN card by the income tax act. So naturally the income tax wants to ensure that the tax evasion does not happen. Also on basis of recommendation of Justice MB Shah committee. Similarly, this money laundering rules were amended to make Aadhaar and PAN mandatory for opening the bank accounts.
There are some other benefits also. Earlier what we used to see is that because of the lack of infrastructure for verification of your identity people people used to open fake bank accounts. For example, somebody can make an entirely duplicate identity in the name of some other person to open bank account, do transactions of millions of rupees and then the whole tax burden will come on the real person. So this is for the safety of the persons themselves that they link their own bank account with Aadhaar.
This is a matter that is currently being heard by the constitution bench of the Supreme Court. Why was the government and the UIDAI decided to make this mandatory to all kinds of services, why the rush and urgency? This is where the trust deficit is coming that why is this government in such a big hurry, let the matter be heard in the Supreme Court, let the Supreme Court decide whether it should be made mandatory or not?
The Supreme Court is hearing on the issue of privacy. But for the parliament as well as the government, there is different jurisdictions. So, the parliament in its wisdom and based on a solid ground research and recommendations had gone to the issue of tax evasion, the black money and accordingly it decided to amend the income tax act and also the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and make it mandatory.
In case of a telecom, the order came from the SC in a case, which was filed by Lokniti foundation, it was a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and in that it was claimed that the people are getting SIM card issued either in the name of a fictitious entities or in the name of somebody who is not aware that the SIM card has not been issued. Those SIM cards were being used for crimes.
So in that case, SC said that let each SIM card be verified with Aadhaar because in India, we have a very solid robust system and that is how this whole system came.
I would also like to give you a background on the financial inclusion and why this is being used for other areas.
The US social security number was brought in 1935. It was after the Great Depression to help people. Social security act was implemented in US and social security number was given. In 1942, President Roosevelt said that social security number will be mandatory for all federal programmes. In 1962, the social security number became their tax identification number equivalent to our PAN. Then in 1976, it became necessary for the drivers licences. Thereafter, even for the bank account or your investment accounts, insurance, for everything social security number is required.
You are saying you are following US model?
No, what I am saying that these are the sound practices, which are being followed in every advanced democracies of the world.
As you yourself pointed out that it was done in a phased manner, it wasn’t linked to every service overnight, which is not the case here in India. You are being forced now to extend deadline after deadline because of what is happening in court. Let me ask you about the denial of benefits because this is an issue, which has caused serious amount of grief, anger and genuine pain. What is the incidence of denial of benefit on account of where you have an Aadhaar card, there is authentication as well but yet you have denied the benefit?
Let me say that so far as Aadhaar scheme is concerned, there is a statutory protection is available to people under section 7 of the Aadhaar act where it says that no one shall be denied the benefits.
The section 7 of Aadhaar says that if a person does not have Aadhaar then he will be required to make an application for Aadhaar and till Aadhaar number is assigned to him, he will be provided benefit on the basis of alternate means of identification.
So, the whole idea behind this was that in a country of 1.2 billion people, there will be some people who may not have Aadhaar or even if he has an Aadhaar, he may not be able to authenticate due to connectivity issues or finger prints may not come or the machine may not work. So, considering that these statutory provisions were made where it was said that the benefits are not denied and it shall be given on the basis of alternate means of identification. However, we do hear certain complaints, which is very unfortunate and also very serious where we hear that some people particularly the old age pensioners or people working in the rural areas went to a particular place, a bank and they tried to authenticate.
Who will held responsible in that case because this is the matter that was brought up in the SC as well? The cabinet secretary issued a circular in December 2017, reiterating what you just pointed out that there can be no denial of benefit, you had to force the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to issue a new circular saying you cannot deny benefits to pensioners, but there seems to be confusion on the ground because people are continuing to be denied benefits. So who should I as a citizen hold responsible?
In such cases, let us say you have gone to a bank and bank is not following certain instructions, you can follow whatever the grievance redressal channel within that organisation – because it has been made very clear to that organisation that they shall not deny.
Clearly it has not been made so clear. You are acknowledging that today, aren’t you? You are acknowledging the fact that the instruction hasn’t percolated to all agencies on the ground and this is a cause for concern?
This is a cause for concern.
What the UIDAI and the government can do?
We will have to re-emphasise those instructions and also we will have to tell all these organisations that at a ground level if any violation is found, the person who is not following the instructions should be punished.
How many people have you punished so far?
In Jharkhand, we found that a lady who went to get a ration – her finger print worked but still the ration officer denied the ration and unfortunately that lady dies. This is the case – I am not saying that this particular incident – even after Aadhaar authentication the benefit was denied. That was the unfortunate reality at the ground level that some people are so inhuman.
It is not just about inhumanity, it is also about the fact that people have not been able to make the transition, people don’t understand the system. As you yourself pointed out in the US, it was done in a phased manner, why is India choosing not to evangelise Aadhaar before you link it to everything mandatorily and then you talk about the fact that it is an unfortunate incident?
Unfortunate incident – if you see the total number of Aadhaars which are being linked to the bank account – more than 57 crore people have linked their Aadhaar number with the banks and so far as the bank accounts are concerned, 87 crore bank accounts have been linked. So the people have linked. There are certain isolated cases of complaints where the people at the ground level are not aware of those instructions so we have re-emphasised to the concerned departments and also the bodies. We have been requesting to the the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and also to the banks to don’t deny and if any of your lower bank officers do not follow the instructions, you should hold them accountable.
Like in case of a Jharkhand, where the PDS shop owner denied even after the Aadhaar authentication and we requested Jharkhand government to take action and they did.
So, I think one step is that these instructions have to percolate down to everyone so that no one is denied and if anyone who violates, strict action should be taken and that is where we would like to pursue the matter.
Can you update us on the latest number, in terms of how many entities have been blacklisted and debarred from dealing with enrolment and so on and so forth on the basis of complaints that you have received?
So for as the involvement is concerned, we have a zero tolerance policy. When people go for Aadhaar enrolment, we call customers for feedback for enrolling or updating and if they compliant, we take action. During the last seven years we have taken action against 49,000 operators so far. We have blacklisted them, so this is the kind of the action we take proactively from our side.
What about the concern that it is in the interest of the enrolment agent to minimise rejections, to not reject people so what is happening in terms of the checks and balances at the enrolment stage itself?
If you see total number of Aadhaar enrolment operators who have been certified they are around more than six lakh, out of that, 49,000 people who were indulging in certain malpractices have been blacklisted and debarred, right. Now to reduce the error rate we have a very strict quality monitoring process inside the UIDAI.
What is the error rate?
Whenever any enrolment is done, every enrolment packet that comes to us, every packet is demographically verified by our backend operator, manually saying that all the data and everything is entered. If the data is found with error then we have certain tolerance – those details I can give you later, but then our error rate we have specified, this much error rate we will tolerate so far as that operator is concerned. But if that error rate is repeated then we blacklist them and that is why today if you compare that where we were seven years back when we started this programme if anyone goes for Aadhaar enrolment or goes for Aadhaar updation, we don’t get many complaints saying that his name is not spelled correctly or his date of birth is not correct, is not captured correctly. So, the errors have reduced drastically, so far as that Aadhaar enrolment is concerned.
What is the current authentication failure rate?
Authentication failure rate if you see the total, we have largely three kind of agencies. For telecom, we have Vodafone, Airtel, Idea, these are the big telecom companies, their success rate is 97%. Then there are the second class of users where the banks are also authenticating because they have verify each and every account because of the amendment in PMLA rules, so there the success rate is somewhere around 94%. So, far as the government agencies such as PDS, MNREGA and that kind of areas where these authentication service are being used, there the success rate is around 88%.
Now the question arises why there is a difference? Why it is 97 percent and why at some places it is 88 percent? We also try to understand the whole psychology. When you go for a sim card, you are interested in getting a sim card. Then the sim card agent who wants to sell that also interested that the authentication should work, so he will take your finger print correctly so that your authentication is successful. However what we have seen is particularly in the public delivery programme where the PDS benefits are being given through the Aadhaar authentication or some other benefits, there we must realise that there were several studies during the last few decades where the amount of leakage through ghost and other identities used to be to the extent of maybe somewhere between 20% and 50%, now because of this new system what we have seen is that at many places where Aadhaar authentication is there, there are some resistance issues, people will try to use all different kinds of finger prints and try and see whether this would work or not. However over a period of time we have found, for example in Andhra Pradesh when they started this Aadhaar authentication in their PDS they used to have a high success rate and they have now improved. This is because of the resistance issue particularly in the public delivery programme because it is upsetting the vested interests. Therefore, initially the success rate will be impacted but over a period of time this success rate will improve. However we are saying that this 12% whose authentication failure has happened, we are saying those people should not be denied service if they are genuine people.
But you haven’t been able to control that. But is there a cumulative number that you can share with us, you have talked about leakages, we have heard the government give us a number for DBT and so on and so forth as well, can you give us a cumulative number on account of the leakage that has been cut because of the Aadhaar usage?
Just last week, this DBT – direct benefit transfer – which works under the cabinet secretariat and which collects all the data. They have put out that Rs 83,000 crore have been saved because of usage of Aadhaar and through the DBT during the last three and half years. So this is the figure. I would also like to point out to you there was an independent study by the World Bank. It was called a Digital Dividend Report 2016 where it said that if Aadhaar is used across all Government of India direct subsidy programmes it has potential to save every year $11 billion and this is consistent with earlier reports where it was held that the extent of leakage in all those public programs were to the extent in the range from 20% to around 50%. So, if you use Aadhaar then a large part of such a leakage, which occurs because of identity fraud that can be curtailed and there by the savings will happen.
One more thing in past prior to Aadhaar, several people say that earlier also we were weeding out ration cards and through the other means, why can’t we do the same thing why we have to use Aadhaar. The whole problem is that whenever you weed out any fakes and duplicates as soon as you think that you have finished eliminating the duplicate and the fakes, the next batch of fake and duplicate will re-enter in the system.
There are reports of duplicate Aadhaar cards as well. What is the status on that?
I must say here that it is highly improbable that any one person will be able to get two Aadhaar cards.
Improbable or impossible?
In the world of technology I never say anything is impossible.
Have you got reports of people having two Aadhaar IDs?
Some very isolated cases. In 2011, where we used to give a biometric exceptions, for those people who did not have finger prints and who could not open eyes, now some of the operators who were later on blacklisted and prosecuted, these operators even if the person had biometrics, they just showed that these persons do not have a biometric and without biometric the enrolment was done. In this manner it was possible for him to generate multiple Aadhaar for the same person under different names but we detected all such cases, we cancelled those Aadhaar numbers and we took action against them. After that we made this grant of biometric exception much more strict and we have a very close supervision over this, that is why I used the word that it is highly improbable that a person can get two Aadhaar cards.
In fact even in the Supreme Court or in other places people were not able to produce that they have so many thousands of people with more than one Aadhaar card. What you hear in the media is completely fabricated, somebody can make an entirely lookalike Aadhaar card having the same photographs, same name but having two Aadhaar numbers, if that is the case that is not an Aadhaar card, it is a completely different system.
You sit on the Srikrishna Committee as well and we are awaiting recommendations of the Srikrishna Committee. The world is moving towards or the EU is moving towards a very strict and tight regime from the May 25 with massive penalties. Even in the white paper, in the Srikrishna Committee white paper they talk about the fact that the Aadhaar Act will need to be tweaked and will need to be synchronised with a privacy and data protection law. Given that do you believe that the Aadhaar Act in itself today is too open ended because that has been an observation of the court?
While making this Aadhaar Act, the government’s stand in the parliament was that it considers the privacy of people as a fundamental right and this Aadhaar Act actually protects, enforces this. Now let me give you an example. There are no contemporary examples in the other legislation at this moment and that is what in this Srikrishna Committee we are looking at this. Now in case of an Aadhaar, first of all Aadhaar is based on a minimal data. When we enrol somebody for Aadhaar we take minimal data. When you went for Aadhaar we did not ask for even your mother’s name, not even your father’s names, not your caste, not your religion, not your whole family details, not your income, not your profession.
What did we ask? Only your names, address, gender, date of birth, ten fingerprints, and iris that is all.
Fair point but isn’t the court’s observation that you could ask for other kind of details. In fact wasn’t the observation made that you could perhaps ask even for DNA profile for instances, I mean this was an observation in the court.
That our Attorney General has applied in the court and these things are been argued in the court, so what our stand is that the section 2 of AadhaarAct, says that the biometrics such as fingerprints, iris and photograph and other biometrics has maybe prescribed by the regulation. So, what the legislator has said such other means, which is as less intrusive as photo of the finger print and photo of the iris, but definitely this section 2 is the stand of the government. In this current form it does not allow the government and in fact we ourselves admit in the court that as long as this wording is there and that is why we put this wording there that any biometric we chose in future has to be as less intrusive as this finger print and iris.
Let me also ask you what Justice Chandrachud raised? That was the pizza analogy that Justice Chandrachud raised that for instance if there is an insurance company and they want to monetise the data, they can sell my data to somebody else and the cycle can continue. What checks and balances are there in place for that? I mean the UIDAI, you virtually sort of said they has nothing to do with us?
Actually, we have nothing to do with it. For example, let us say if a pizza company, has your full name, address, and mobile phone and maybe even your credit card details. There is no law which requires a pizza company to ask for your Aadhaar number. If anyone asks your Aadhaar number you can refuse to provide Aadhaar number- number one. This whole issue that the pizza company will be able to know many other information that is related to a general data protection law. Because it might contact your health provider for example, might get some information from the bank using maybe the existing provisions or maybe even going beyond the existing provision and might maybe able to aggregate some data about you and that is what the people are concerned.
We are also concerned in that Justice Srikrishna Committee and that is why we are moving to a regime where such kind of an intermingling of data between the various agencies are prohibited and without consent it cannot be done. So far as Aadhaar is concerned Aadhaar doesn’t come anywhere in the picture because what Aadhaar has first let me clarify - that somehow the people have impression that just because that Aadhaar is being linked at various places Aadhaar knows that which bank account you have. How much money you have?
If Aadhaar is linked to the PAN card then UIDAI will know that how many returns you are filing, what is your total income.
Are you playing big brother or not, that is the question? That is the concern that people have, that we are moving towards a surveillance state and you are playing big brother.
The UIDAI does not have any information about your transaction. Not only that under the Aadhaar law we prohibited from collecting your transaction details and any purpose for which you have done the authentication. If ever UIDAI does it or any government does it, it is criminal offence and that is equally applicable to everyone who is working inside the government or the UIDAI. Let me give you an example, let us say suppose you go to a bank and link your bank account number with Aadhaar, what the bank sends to the UIDAI is only your Aadhaar number and your finger print and UIDAI responds in a manner of yes and no. UIDAI does not know that you have gone to the bank and whether you are going to the bank for opening a bank account or withdrawal or deposit or for whatever purpose and this is also a onetime activity. It is not that once you have linked your bank account with Aadhaar every time you do some transaction in the bank UIDAI gets a signal, that is also prohibited.
If you see the Section 29 of the Aadhaar Act, if see Section 30 of the Aadhaar Act, these sections specifically prohibit any collection of data which is beyond the matching. So, UIDAI is simply a matching service. It matches your Aaadhaar number with the finger print. Therefore, apprehension that UIDAI ever will become a big brother because what we did was that when we were designing this programme in 2010, that time every agency whether it was government or private, is data hungry. If a person has come to you, you like to get all kinds of data. However we decided that we will follow the principal of optimal ignorance.
If you see right from the very beginning in our design document, including our affidavit in the Supreme Court, we have said that this is our optimal ignorance principle and also that it does remain only on the paper, we have also put the provision in the law itself and any violation of this optimal ignorance principle, it is a serious criminal offence.
Since we are talking about violations, this is a general criticism that is coming your way that while you acknowledge the fact that there has been breaches at the end of whether it is the grievance redressal mechanism or so on and so forth, the UIDAI database has never been breached, the biometrics have never been breached. You are also aware of the fact that there are several people on Twitter, in public, on social media who have pointed out to bugs within the system, with the architecture. The view is that instead of being dismissive why do you not adopt a much more collaborative approach? Why can’t you for instance have bug bounty rewards, why can’t you create that ecosystem? Why are you always on the defensive and why are you always sort of suggesting that there is absolutely no possibility. In court you said that no system is 100% robust, then why do you take a different attitude and a different approach when people question you about the possibility of a breach?
In court I mentioned two things. I said, no system in the world can ever claim that it was 100% security proof. What you consider today as security proof, may not be after one hour. This security challenge is a constantly evolving scenario where people who attack our security system including Aadhaar, they are upgrading their technology. So, we also have to remain one step ahead of them. That is exactly what we are doing. It is not that our security systems are same as it was in 2010 when we designed it. On a day to day basis we are upgrading our security system and for that whatever input is required since it is a security matter, we don’t exactly discuss in public that what steps we are taking. So, we have a very robust system of getting feedback and getting an input from various sources that where is the threat emerging.
You know who I am talking about? There are people Elliot Alderson and all of these people on social media who are pointing out issues with Aadhaar, have you spoken with them? Have you contacted them? Has there been any conversation with people who have publicly pointed these things out?
What we do is we have a very robust system where we take cognisance of anything that is appearing in media, social media and elsewhere including there are many things which are not appearing in the social media. Then we take proactive action not only to protect the whole system as on today, but also we have to be very aware that what is going to happen after two years. Because let us say certain technologies are getting developed and which will make life very difficult for us after two years. If I have to make a change unless and until I initiate those changes because those changes can’t be done, implemented overnight. Any change in such a large technological system will require months of preparation to do that.
I have to initiate those steps, unfortunately, it is a security matter. I am pretty sure that not only in the cyber security, let us say any countries security for example. If you ask any national security forget about India or any other country what steps they are taking they will be taking all these steps, but only thing is that they will not be willing to discuss those security measures which they are taking.
There is merit in the criticism that has come your way, there is merit in the loopholes and the bugs that have been pointed out?
I wouldn’t say that there is a merit, if whatever the loopholes and the bugs which are being pointed out many of them are valid, many of them may raise certain perception. So, we take that as a feedback, because in many cases for example some people say like one example you said about the duplicate Aadhaar card. Now when we heard that news, we said that look it is neither a security threat or it is not a question of some duplicate Aadhaar being generated. But it is a concern, so the people have to be made aware that these are not the duplicate cards issued by Aadhaar, but these are the duplicate Aadhaar cards. Then we have to tell people that if supposing somebody gives you Aadhaar card don’t take this as a face value. You just scan the QR code or you can go online.
Will the QR code now do away with vanilla biometrics, I mean what is the plan as far as that is concerned?
QR code serves a different purpose. QR code will help you for the offline authentication. Wherever the online authentication is required for example if you want to go an open up a bank account now the bank account, the person has to take the ownership of bank account. Because otherwise somebody else will take my real Aadhaar card because I may be giving my real Aadhaar card taking that Aadhaar card somebody will be able to open a bank account in my name without my knowledge. In such cases online authentication could be required, but that also will be a onetime activity. Not that every time do a banking transaction.
When can we expect the recommendations of the Srikrishna report to be finalised and put forward and do you believe that within this Calendar Year, we could see the law being passed or do you think that it is now only possible in the tenure of the next government?
Justice Srikrishna report, we had a stakeholder consultation across the country. Where we have received a very good and large number of feedbacks. They all are being deliberated and based on that a draft legislation will be prepared and then the draft report will be submitted to the government by the Justice Srikrishna Committee. We hope sometime in month of May, it is not far away and then because the government has appointed the Justice Srikrishna Committee then naturally the government will have to take a proper view.
Will the Aadhaar Act need to be amended in light of the recommendations of the Srikrishna Committee? You are a member of that committee so you know what you are deliberating on?
As I have already said that there is always a scope for improvement.
So there will be need for improvement?
I mean wherever the Justice Srikrishna Committee feels that there is some more strengthening is required definitely we will take that in a very positive manner and we will do that. But that does not mean that the entire Aadhaar Act itself, because let us wait for the Justice Srikrishna Committee and so just because there are certain improvement. For example some improvements will be suggested maybe in the IT Act. But that doesn’t mean that today this IT act is invalid, so this need for improvement doesn’t invalidate the present.
So, far you have said that there has been no breach and while no system is 100%, what if there will be a breach tomorrow, what happens then?
The way we have designed our system, we will try to protect it.
I am saying assuming, worst case scenario, if there is a breach, what happens then?
This is a very hypothetical scenario. As I mentioned to you we are based on minimal data and optimal ignorance. For example, let us say your biometrics are photograph, your finger prints and iris. None of these things are something which are not publically available. For example, if you go and stay in a hotel, at all places your finger prints are available. Whenever you are in front of any high resolution camera and you wave your hands, all your finger prints are getting captured, including your iris. So, in that sense it is not that the biometric is something which is not available in the public domain. We should also know that in the established literature of computer science, biometric is not something as secret as your password. If your password leaks then there could be a problem. Here this whole biometrics is based on a multi-factored authentication, for example, some people say that somebody makes a silicon copy of your finger print and he could authenticate and then he can pass of this but then we have other safeguards. What are the other safeguards? When you go and authenticate, that authentication has to happen in front of some other person who also has to authenticate. So, unless until these two persons collude, for example if you go to the bank, unless until the bank colludes with you and says that silicon finger print of some other person would be accepted then only this kind of a crime will happen. This kind of a collusion if at all happens there much more serious damage could be done. So, what I am saying is this biometric first of all we will protect to every extent but biometric are also not as secret as your password.
What about disruption of services? This is now being used for everything, if there is a breach, what happens in that case?
I can assure you that if ever that happens we have very sound disaster recovery plan and within very short period of time, we can reconstruct the whole thing from all the other places where we are storing our data which is at different places. So, we should be able to rebuild the whole thing.
About the disruption of services, we will be able to take care if ever such eventuality arises. We follow a very sound method of ensuring that in case if there is any such attempt or if that ever happens, which we will prevent to the best of our ability, if ever that happens we should be able to recover this in a very short amount of time.
We have not denied any Fin Tech company as such. Right now the Aadhaar services are available to the banks and telecom companies and others who are supposed to be doing it. We have received a large number of requests from various companies who are private entities saying that they would also like to do Aadhaar authentication. Now considering this whole nature of the privacy debate, we have come out with a system of virtual ID and UID Token where Aadhaar number will be masked so that anyone who wants to use Aadhaar authentication facility, he can do offline, therefore, he doesn’t need to come to me at all. If at all that entity wants to come to the UIDAI then in that particular case this system of this virtual ID and the UID Token which we announced in January is helpful. From June 1 we are mandating all the companies to start accepting the virtual ID and then replacing the Aadhaar number with the UID Token. So, right now we have put all such requests on hold. Aadhaar is a public platform which is to be used for entire 1.2 billion people.
There is criticism that UIDAI has been reactionary somewhat to the criticism that is coming in. For instance denying Fin Tech companies’ access to APIs because of all of the concerns that have been raised. Is this temporary, what is going on and that again leads people to question then the intent and the purposefulness with which you operate?