Aadhaar Card Not Mandatory For Availing NHPS Services

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New Delhi: The Central government may not insist for Aadhaar card and identification documents such as ration card would be enough to avail the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
Sources said, a voter card, driving licence, ration card or any other “government prescribed identification card” would allow families to be included in the list of beneficiaries that was being compiled, the official said of the scheme that will provide health cover to the poor under the Modi government’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat plan.
“The decision (not to insist of Aadhaar) has been taken due to the sensitivity involved with Aadhaar,” said the official, while speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The Supreme Court is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the 12-digit unique biometric number on the grounds that it invades privacy and deprives people of benefits such as subsidised ration. The government says Aadhaar is meant to check pilferage, ensure that benefits reach the needy and also prevent corruption.
The government has already begun collecting data for NHPS, which will offer an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to every vulnerable family that will be indentified on the basis of socio-economic caste census data (SECC). Around 101 million families and 500 million people will benefit from Ayushman Bharat that also aims to provide comprehensive primary healthcare.
A pilot each of SECC verification would be completed in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by April 19. Gram sabhas through village health workers were going door-to-door to collect and updated data, the official said.

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