This week, the Union Cabinet cleared a Bill to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar ID for opening a bank account and getting a mobile phone connection. The Bill aims to replace an ordinance issued in March, which had to be promulgated for the voluntary use of Aadhaar because a Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha in January but pending in the Rajya Sabha, lapsed with the dissolution of the former before the general elections.
In September, the Supreme Court had struck down the use of Aadhaar-based KYC (know your customer) by private entities for verification.
The current Bill, okayed by the Cabinet, proposes penalties for violation of norms, besides giving a child an option to exit the biometric ID programme on reaching 18 years of age.
Draft National Education Policy
Also this week, the draft of the new National Education Policy (NEP) was made public, which suggested the use of educational technology for teacher development, besides proposing training educators in the use of educational technology.
The draft also proposed setting up a national educational technology forum, which will advise central and state government agencies on technology. The forum, although publicly funded, will be open to finance from industry bodies such as National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom).
The draft also proposed setting up of a national repository of educational data for overall management of educational records. It said that, “All public data will be owned by the government and will be used for improving educational standards. Individuals will retain full ownership of their own data, which may not be used without their explicit permission. Educational data that has been anonymised will be made publicly available on a regular basis for research purposes.”