News: The government of India has informed the Supreme Court that it had provided covid vaccination to 8.7 million people without asking for identification.
What are the steps initiated by the government of India?
Apart from Aadhaar, the government allowed citizens to use eight alternative documents to register themselves on Co-Win, a website for vaccine allotment. But, at the same time, the government also relaxed the ID proof requirement for sadhus and saints of all religions, those leading nomadic lives, inmates of prisons and mental health institutions, and others with none of these nine identity documents.
Given the state has the responsibility for everyone’s well-being, basic rights like health cannot be made dependent on establishing identity. So. this is the most sensible decision by the government in a time when the country is fighting to put an end to the pandemic.
Why government should remove ID requirements from its programs?
Personal safety overlaps with the public interest in vaccine delivery. They should be extended to all food handouts. This would also lead to nutritional security.
Plugging any such leakage should be the goal of the Aadhaar. So, providing food handouts should not be made dependent on the possession of ID.
Similarly, health ID cards for online access to the central database should remain optional. The national digital health ecosystem should not erect barriers. Hence, the Aadhaar should be made voluntary.
Source: This post is based on the article “The case for easing our identity proof insistence” published in Livemint on 9th February 2022.