Want to link EPIC with Aadhaar? Go online says district administration

National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP) is voter registering project of the ECI or the Election Commission of India. It will connect the Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) with the 12 digit Aadhar number of the listed voter. It targets to build an error-free voter ID system in the country, especially by removing duplications and forged or bogus voters. This project was launched on March 3rd 2015 and is predicted to be completed by 15 August 2015.

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A month after the launch of the Programme which associates Aadhaar with voters’ Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC), it is yet to pick up the pace. The district administration has asked city voters to log onto the website to connect directly and not to wait for distinct drives.

Deputy election officer, Samiksha Chandrakar Gokule, said that even after a month of the launch of the programme, they were not able to draw a desired response. They rather want the urban voters to log onto the election website and give in to the details of the Aadhaar and the Elector’s Photo Identity Card so that they can be connected as the part of the programme. They can also do the needed at the Electoral Registration Offices, but city voters, having easy access to internet services, can do it directly and quickly.

The drive was planned to be on till June 30th. The election officer conveyed that inhabitants should tie their EPIC number with their UID number online on the website and those who did not possess an EPIC, should interact with the election office at the old Zilla Parishad building on the 1st floor. Currently, the EPIC reporting is 91 per cent.

Pune district has a total of 70 lakh voters. Voters have to give in their specifics under a distinct form that enquires EPIC number as well as 12 digit Aadhaar number. The initiative is fixed on gathering of information of Aadhaar card, intended revelation of replication of names, development of image quality in the voting roll as well as organizing mobile number and e-mail ids.

The ECI wants to have a clean and a fair electoral roll. Despite achievement of the summary revision, errors were seen. The drive is meant to be at an electoral roll without flaws, mistakes or multiple entries. The election officer further added that those whose names figured in two electorates should fill and submit the form 7 for removal of name. “We would be casting an eye over for such names and issuing warnings. If there is no reply, the names would be spontaneously deleted” said Gokule.

Feeding of the 12 digit unique Aadhaar number in the EPIC data base will be done with the help of a National Voters Service Portal, using web services through election commission website or through an text message service to 51969 or by email or by a mobile application. The application is still undergoing the process of development.

The process yet can be initiated by dialling these four digits :1950, it is a toll-free number, or by submitting the 12 digit Aadhaar card number and the EPIC number in a suitably filled layout along with a duplicate copy of EPIC and Aadhaar card. The programme is intended at attaining 100 per cent attention by the month July 2015 as per ECI guiding principle.

The commission has inquired the CEO to watch the programme carefully and take stock of the undergoing situation, the target that is achieved and the review of the work yet to be completed.

Yechury tells CEC to clarify the AADHAAR to be voluntary and not “obligatory”

Aadhaar card serves as an important unique ID proof for the people or the inhabitants of the country. The proof was also decided to be linked to various documents like the ration card or the voter id so as to help the civilians get the advantage of the various schemes introduced by the govt in the favour of a common man.

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It was always a topic of debate whether to make Aadhaar compulsory or let it be Voluntary. A recent event caused confusion regarding Aadhar cards. The event took place at NEW DELHI where CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi,  mentioned that he had “received feedback” to stating unease that state election officers have directed our teams of enumerators to gather the Aadhaar card specifics of voters.

He said though the Election Commission had some time ago elucidated that Aadhaar card specifics are voluntary and not a obligatory requirement for being registered on electoral list, the recent practice as per his views gives a wrong impression.

This according to him conveyed an impression that the EC has made a decision to make Aadhaar card compulsory for exercise of franchise.

Zaidi was requested by Yechury to clarify that the Aadhaar Card is not compulsory for the exercise of franchise and safeguard the inviolability of the data base composed by ECI from being perhaps misused. The database contains huge amount of information about the individuals thus needs to be protected against the bogus or the duplicate voters or any of such misuse on grounds that are deliberately banned by our Constitution.

According to him this may be done by a media release and instructions to the representatives of the Election Commission of India and the state election commissions (as written by him).

Yechury also wrote that those people who have provided the information or the specifics, have also got SMS messages on their numbers that they no longer are required to produce their electoral cards during the time of casting their vote as an acknowledgement. He said that, although Election Commission had previously made it clear that the Aadhaar Card specifics are voluntary and not an essential requirement for being registered on the voters’ list, this practice “appears to propose that the Election Commission has decided in making the Aadhaar card a compulsory prerequisite for the exercise of franchise”.

Yechury also told Nasim Zaidi that the Supreme Court has given a verdict that Aadhaar card can never be made obligatory for the application of franchise, apart from others. He said that the Parliament is so far to enact legislation on this notch. Under these conditions, it is certainly very odd that the electoral officers are practicing such an exercise passing on such an impression.

The CPM general secretary moreover mentioned that the records collected by the Election Commission and connecting it up with the Aadhaar card belonging to every single voter is a enormous data base, perhaps the largest database in any nation of the world, that too based on the biometric IDs system which could be put to an unlawful usage for discriminating against a section of bona fide residents on grounds that are deliberately prohibited by the Constitution. Linking this type of unique Id proof to voter ID, ration card or bank account helps the individual to take the advantage of the service or schemes introduced by the government to help the common people or the civilians residing in the country.

Further he said that he was certain that the Election Commission of India would not give itself for such a gross mishandling of database it possesses of the Indian electorate over such connectivity with Aadhaar Card.