The lack of information security practices in key government websites which hosts Personally Identifiable Information (PII) has left citizens of the country more vulnerable to identity theft and financial fraud, a research paper has argued. A paper by Amber Sinha and Srinivas Kodali of Centre for Internet and Society analysed four government websites and found that more than 13 crore Aadhaar numbers with related PII were available on the websites, exposing lax security features.
As the government insists that one’s Aadhaar account and Permanent Account Number (PAN) should be linked by July 31 this year to pay income taxes, millions of Indians have faced issues with syncing the two accounts due to small differences in how their names are spelt. This problem can happen even if there are minor differences in how the name is recorded – like the use of one’s full name in PAN and initials in Aadhaar.
SBI’s virtual queuing app can be downloaded free of cost from Google Play and Apple app stores. SBI or State Bank of India is offering a virtual queue ticket or “e-token” service through its newly-launched app No Queue, which enables customers to avail select banking services at its select branches without having to stand in queues. SBI customers “can book a virtual token…and skip the queue,” India’s largest bank SBI said on Twitter.
UIDAI dismissed the recently-reported breach as an isolated case, and added that their internal security system had picked up the attempted misuse. Dismissing reports of misuse of biometrics data, the government on Sunday said Aadhaar-based authentication is “fully safe and secure”. Moreover, subsidy transfers linked to Aadhaar has led the exchequer to save ₹49,000 crore during the last two-and-half years. According to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), there has been no incident of misuse of Aadhaar biometrics leading to identity theft and financial loss when more than 400 crore Aadhaar authenticated transactions took place during the last five years, it said.
The Unique Identification Authority of India is working with banks and the Reserve Bank of India to ensure that merchants who use its mobile-based application for digital transactions earn a commission of up to 1% of the transaction value. With UIDAI suggesting it is on path to get this in place in a couple of months, the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System could give debit cards and e-wallets a run for their money.
It came to the notice of UIDAI that websites and mobile applications downloadable through Google Playstore were providing unauthorised Aadhaar related services. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has ensured that 12 websites and 12 mobile applications available on the Google Playstore are shut down and has directed to close down 26 more such fraudulent and illegal websites/applications. It came to the notice of UIDAI that these websites and mobile applications downloadable through Google Playstore were providing unauthorised Aadhaar related services such as downloading online Aadhaar card, providing status of Aadhaar generation, PVC Aadhaar Card, etc.
Slowly but surely, Aadhaar card is going places. Places like India’s colleges and universities. In a notice issued on March 21, University Grant Commission has asked all universities in India to include Aadhaar number on a degree before it is issued to a student. The move, UGC says, will help reduce the prevalence of fake degrees and frauds. “I request you to introduce identification mechanisms like photograph and Unique ID/Aadhaar number in students’ certificates.
The Reserve Bank is expected to introduce Rs 200 notes in the coming months to ease pressure on lower-denomination currencies that are in short supply. The new notes of Rs 200 should be out before the end of 2017 and will greatly help in narrowing the demand and supply gap in smaller-denomination currency bills, sources said. They also said that there is no immediate plan to re-introduce Rs 1,000 notes.
Indian Railways and IRCTC have announced two new circuits of their flagship luxury train Maharajas’ Express, this year. The Indian Railways’ super-luxury trains, which cater to various tourist circuits throughout India have long been in demand with travellers with deep pockets looking to explore the cities, towns, villages and regional areas, while travelling in style along the world’s fourth largest rail network. Expanding the network of its super-luxury trains, the Indian Railways and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) have announced two new circuits of their flagship luxury train Maharajas’ Express, this year.
On July 1, India moved on to a new era of taxation with the rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST). It has now subsumed 17 central and state indirect taxes and 23 cesses into a single tax regime. Such a big transition is bound to change the lives of many individuals and businesses. Some of such changes are as follows: Change in shopping online Under the new regime, goods will be delivered to a customer much faster than the previous regime due to removal of paperwork to be filed with state authorities.