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The Great Indian Migration – Urgent Need of Single Unique Id

Urban India is slowly becoming a global village; the typical geographical cultural indicators are diminishing with economic liberalization. Few decades back people were reluctant to move out of their geography; possibly they were too attached to their culture…Slowly they realized that this reluctance is hindering their growth  and specially, post economic liberalization in 90’s the movement of ppl started across geographies…The communities which were least reluctant to migration took advantage of opportunities available & prospered a lot.

Post liberalization, new age economy required talent pool which can or cannot be sourced from 1 particular geography…Organizations started looking out for people from other geographies who can fit in required role….Just to quote e.g. of one of the biggest automobile company which used to hire employees from 1 particular geography only were forced to hire employees from other parts. This was beginning of “The Great Indian Migration”…Before liberalization, this migration was purely for business purpose but post liberalization, service sector which is now largest contributor to economy started participating in this and thus contribution of Floating population increased in major cities…The movement was within Geography also i.e. Rural to Urban migration…

Currently the movement is mainly restricted to metro or mini metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmadabad, Chennai etc i.e. centres with job opportunity….When i am moving as a professional from Place A to Place B the key concerns which come to my mind are Children’s School, Cost of Living, Culture, Cost of Shifting & Growth Prospects.

This socio economic change also brought its own set of problems…No offence to anyone but generally, outsiders are being treated differently in almost all states becoz of feeling that they are eating into jobs for locals, which i feel is wrong as Indian Constitution guarantee equal opportunities for all…It is not feasible to protect a class of society under pretext of saving regional pride…If India has to become super power then it should learn from USA and China which witnessed similar changes in past..

Shifting is also very painful & full of anxiety for individual & his family…Biggest que is whether they will be able to settle in new place or not….Besides this there are administrative nightmares to shift from Place A to Place B as it require hell lot of address changes like change in bank account address, PAN address, Passport etc..It takes 3-4 months to settle down & after year or so u again realized, its time to move on…Also if u r carrying other states driving license or vehicle then it’s a nightmare for person if Traffic police catch hold of him.

Today Govt does not have any centralized repository of its citizens, which can track this change & make life of citizens simple & easy…We have laundry list of documents like passport, voter id, PAN, Driving License, Ration Card, Aadhar etc which act as Id or address proof…In normal routine if I have changed 3-4 houses in last 10 years then in all probability all these documents will have different addresses of different cities….This loophole is misused for breaking rules e.g. normally people carry multiple Driving Licenses of different states & break rules easily since Govt does not have central repository therefore its very difficult to trace a person.

Sometime back Govt mull the idea of Single Unique Id for Indian Citizens, Idea was noble if it would have been implemented in its original form but so much dilution happened to idea that now  1 Govt deptt is collecting citizens information using Aadhar and finance ministry is collecting information in the  name of National Population Register (NPR)…Its sheer Duplication of work & wastage of time, tax payer’s money & resources..In India, i can bet Govt cannot find out who is staying where but some intelligent ppl will give excuse India is big country so its very difficult to track but basic que have we taken right steps in this direction

When Aadhar was launched, it gave ray of hope that it will resolve all these issues but Aadhar is now in “Adhar” (Hindi Word for swinging in between)…Even banks refused to accept Aadhar as Id proof for account opening they why Govt is spending so much on this scheme. Within Govt deptt lot of questions raised on security of Aadhar database.

In USA, all citizens have only 1 unique Social Security No & it act as all in one smart card for multiple purpose. Similarly according to me, today the most reliable & authentic data available with Govt is of PAN i.e. 3.5 Cr Citizens PAN data…Instead of introducing Aadhar or NPR, Govt should have built upon this database and would have converted PAN into Single unique National Id No for all citizens & those who don’t have PAN, should have been advised to comply….This move was specially more beneficial

(a)    It would have improved Tax Compliance

(b)   System is already in place and just need to scale up

PAN could have act as ur Driving License No, Vehicle Registration No, Bank Account No, Ration card No, Voter Id etc i.e. All in One….Imagine the kind of monetary savings in implementation of this project…There should not have been any State or Regional Boundaries and basic guiding principle should be 1 Country & 1 unique id to establish citizens identity.. Wherever citizen will move, just inform Govt once and all records will be updated… Imagine the impact of this initiative to bring down corruption…Also i think half of Govt’s Staff would have become redundant…Why we need so many documents to prove identity and lakhs of Govt Officials working in each deptt.

With increasing economic activity, the movement of ppl will increase in coming time and in order to have better control on administration and to avoid hassle for citizens, Govt should come up with proposal of Single Id no. for all residents otherwise no scheme will succeed in mapping the Indian population correctly & Aadhar or NPR will be one among many id proofs serving no purpose. Today i don’t care whether i have Aadhar or not becoz for me its one of document and my life will not come to standstill if i don’t have Aadhar but Yes, i can’t survive without PAN…Single unique Id for each citizen is more imp if govt want to pass benefits of subsidy and other social welfare schemes to needy else the misuse of these schemes will continue. Its better to have 1 comprehensive, reliable and authentic database rather having multiple fractured, incomplete and inadequate databases.

Copyright © 2011-2012 Nitin Bhatia. All Rights Reserved.

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