GS Paper 2
Syllabus: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation
Direction: The article highlights the new family ID for residents of J&K, its criticism, and other states with a similar mechanism.
Context: J&K Lt Governor’s announcement to introduce a family Pehchan Patra (identity card) for residents of the UT has been criticised by the opposition parties in Kashmir as a surveillance tool.
The proposed family Pehchan Patra:
- It will be an identity card with a unique 8-digit alphanumeric number, which will contain details of all members of the family, including their names, ages, qualifications, employment status, etc.
- The card will be linked with the Aadhaar and bank account number of the head of the family.
- While Aadhaar contains information about an individual, the family ID card will collate a database about families, with the consent of the family.
- No consent is likely to attract practical difficulties because benefits such as subsidised rations will be linked with the family ID card.
The purpose of introducing the identity card:
- To create an authentic, verified and reliable database of families in J&K that will help in policy planning.
- To facilitate direct transfer of benefits to their bank accounts.
- To ensure speedy and transparent doorstep delivery of welfare schemes to eligible beneficiaries.
- To identify and weed out duplicate ration cards and Aadhaar.
Issues with the proposed family ID:
- It symbolises the widening trust deficit especially post 2019 when the erstwhile state of J&K was bifurcated into two UTs.
- Unproductive use of resources.
- The protection of personal data is a major challenge.
Government’s response to this criticism:
- An information security policy and an appropriate cyber security framework are under planning.
- Minimum human interference will result in better utilisation of resources.
- Better delivery of services will strengthen trust between the government and the people.
Similar databases in other states:
- Haryana was the first state to introduce the concept of the family Pehchan Patra, and Punjab introduced it last year.
- UP Parivar Kalyan Card, Rajasthan’s Jan Aadhaar and MP’s Samagra ID are other examples.
This is what has changed in Jammu and Kashmir
Q. Trace the changed security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and discuss the road ahead post the recent landmark political changes. (250 words)