Talks on to 'expedite' driving licence linking with Aadhaar: Prasad

IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said he is in talks with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to expedite the process of linking motor vehicle driving licences with biometric identifier Aadhaar.

"I am taking with Nitin Gadkari ji to finalise the linking up all the motor mehicle driving licences with Aadhaar," Prasad said addressing the NSE Tech Conclave 2018 here.

Prasad said that the move will be in public safety and public interest, and added that some state initiatives are already on, in this regard.

"Say, a driver from one state driving in another in a state of drunkenness attempts a hit-and-run and then takes a duplicate driving licence from a different state. Now, when he goes he can fake his name but cannot fake his digital identity," the minister said.

"We are fast-track expediting it," he said referring to his ongoing talks with Gadkari.

The proposed Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill provides for linking of driving licence and vehicle registration with Aadhaar-based platform and proposes heavy penalties for traffic violations. The Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha but is awaiting Rajya Sabha nod.

Prasad further said that the government had saved Rs 57,000 crore with its Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme under which subsidies are given directly to beneficiaries, and termed Aadhaar as a "marvel".

Over 1.2 billion Aadhaar numbers have been issued so far, Prasad said referring to the unique biometric identifier that is required as an identity proof of residents by various government and non-government entities.

For instance, the government has made it mandatory for verifying bank accounts and PANs to weed out black money and bring unaccounted wealth to book. The same for cellphone SIMs has been mandated to establish the identity of mobile phone users.

The minister further said he is eager to make India a hub of data analysis.

The Government, he said, is also pushing electronics manufacturing in a big way through various schemes.

"By end of 2020, as much as 96 per cent of India's mobile needs will be fed by factories located in the country," he said.

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