Union Home Ministry directed Aadhaar authentication for prisoners and their visitors:- As a part of the Government initiative to strengthen prisoners’ safety and security the Union Home Ministry has directed that all prisoners and their visitors should go through Aadhaar authentication.
The Union Home Ministry (Ministry of Home Affairs) of India has issued a notification to the Prison Department and has asked the States and Union Territories to utilize Aadhaar authentication of prison inmates and their visitors with a view to strengthening the safe and secure custody of prisoners and also to ensure the delivery of the Aadhaar benefits to which they are entitled.
This Aadhaar authentication for Prisoners has to be performed under the provisions of the Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation, Knowledge) Rules 2020, according to the Standard Operating Procedure developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC)/ePrisons for Aadhaar linking/authentication of prisoners/visitors.
Aadhaar Authentication for Prisoners to be a voluntary process
With the ever-increasing population of prison inmates, prison security has become one of the major concerns for the State to maintain Law and Order. This has led the Ministry of Home Affairs to direct aadhaar authentication of prison inmates and their visitors.
However, the aadhaar authentication process of inmates and their visitors will be voluntary and the States/Union Territories will have to adhere to the relevant guidelines issued by the Centre from time to time.
Benefits of Aadhaar authentication of prisoners and jail visitors
Improved prison security: Aadhaar authentication system will help to ensure that only authorized visitors are allowed into prisons. This can help to reduce the risk of escapes, smuggling, and other illegal activities.
Prevention of identity fraud: Aadhaar authentication can help to prevent prisoners from using false identities. This can help to ensure that prisoners are properly accounted for. Aadhaar-based verification system can be used to accurately verify prison inmates and their visitors, reduce identity fraud within the prison system.
Streamlined administrative processes: Aadhaar authentication system can be used to streamline administrative processes related to the management of prisoners, such as registration, transfers, and parole.
Improved delivery of benefits to prison inmates: Aadhaar authentication system can help to ensure that prisoners receive the Aadhaar benefits to which they are entitled, such as direct benefit transfers and access to government services.
Challenges of Aadhaar authentication of prisoners and jail visitors
Though the Union Home Ministry has directed to implement voluntary Aadhaar authentication of prison inmates and their visitors, there are various challenges in implementing the Aadhaar authentication system.
Voluntary participation: The Ministry of Home Affairs has said that Aadhaar authentication of prisoners and jail visitors will be on a voluntary basis. This means that some prisoners and visitors may choose not to participate. This could limit the effectiveness of Aadhaar authentication in improving prison security and preventing identity fraud.
Technical challenges: There will be technical challenges in implementing the Aadhaar authentication system in prisons. For example, some prisons may not have reliable internet access or the necessary hardware and software. It is essential to address these challenges in order to ensure that the Aadhaar authentication system is implemented effectively.
Privacy concerns: Various people have raised privacy concerns regarding Aadhaar authentication saying that the government may use Aadhaar data to track and monitor individuals. The Ministry of Home Affairs has said that Aadhaar data will be used only for the purposes of prison security and inmate welfare. However, ensuring that Aadhaar data is protected from unauthorized access and misuse is important.
Overall, Aadhaar authentication of prisoners and jail visitors is a smart move that has the potential to improve prison security, prevent identity fraud, and streamline administrative processes. However, it is important to address the challenges that may come across, in order to ensure that Aadhaar authentication for prisoners is implemented in an ethical and effective manner.