The need and usage of Aadhaar card has become increasingly important in recent years. Read this article to know the many purposes of Aadhaar, and the main objective behind its introduction in India.
Aadhaar, as we all know, is a 12-digit unique number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India to every resident of the country. It was initiated in the year 2009 with the intent to provide universal identity to every individual, after taking the user’s biometric details like iris scan and fingerprints, and demographic information, such as birth date and address. The UIDAI is tasked with the responsibility of managing Aadhaar numbers, as well as developing, and setting up the necessary infrastructure for issuing Aadhaar cards. In this article, we will look into everything there is to Aadhaar and understand the main objective behind its introduction.
Purpose of Aadhaar
The Aadhaar project was started as an attempt at having a single unique identification number or document that would contain all the details of an Indian resident. At present, there are many identity documents in the country, like permanent account numbers (PAN), passports, driving licenses and ration cards. While the Aadhaar does not replace them, it can be used as the sole identification (and address) proof. It serves as the basis for Know Your Customer norms, used by financial companies, telecom firms and other businesses who maintain customer profiles.
Usage of Aadhaar
The Aadhaar system enables for online/offline identity verification of residents across the nation. After entities enrol, they can use the 12-digit number for authenticating and establishing their identity using electronic means or via offline verification, as the case may be. It removes the hassle of repeatedly having to provide supporting identity documents each time a resident wants access to services, benefits and subsidies. Aadhaar is necessary for availing certain government welfare schemes and subsidies, such as LPG, kerosene and scholarships.
For Governments, Service Agencies
The Aadhaar number is only issued to residents after de-duplicating their demographic and biometric attributes against its database. Aadhaar authentication helps to remove duplicates under different schemes and generate substantial savings to the government exchequer. The government is provided with accurate data on beneficiaries, and the government departments/service providers can coordinate and optimize different schemes. Through Aadhaar, implementing agencies can verify beneficiaries and make sure of targeted delivery of benefits.
Source: UIDAI website
How To Apply For Aadhaar
Now, if you’re someone who doesn't already own an Aadhaar card, here’s what you can do to get it:
- Step 1: Collect necessary documents: To apply for an Aadhaar card, the applicant should first collect all the required documents. These include - proof of identity, proof of address and proof of date of birth. These documents need to be handed over along with the enrolment form. The form can be collected from an enrolment centre or downloaded from the website of the UIDAI.
- Step 2: Locate nearby enrolment centre: The next step is to go to a permanent enrolment centre, carrying the required original documents. The applicant can locate the closest permanent enrolment centre on the website of the UIDAI.
- Step 3: Enrolment centre: At the centre, the individual would have to submit the duly-filled form. An agent at the enrolment centre will take the form and scan the original documents (submitted as proof of identity, address proof and date of birth). Once the documents are scanned, the original documents shall be returned.
- Step 4: Submit biometric data: Once the documents are submitted, the agent will require the applicant to submit his or her biometric data, i.e. fingerprints and iris scan. The individual’s photograph shall also be taken at the enrolment centre.
- Step 5: Acknowledgement slip: After the step mentioned above is complete, the agent will handover an acknowledgment slip. It will contain 28 digits, which is made up of a 14-digit enrolment ID and 14-digit date and time of the enrolment. It is important to keep the acknowledgment slip safely, as this number can be used to track Aadhaar status on the UIDAI website.
Aadhaar generation can take up to 90 days from the date of request. The Aadhaar letter shall be delivered by post. Once Aadhaar is generated, the individual will receive an SMS from the UIDAI confirming the same, provided the mobile number has been mentioned during the time of enrolment.
The purpose of the Aadhaar program has been to provide universal identity to every Indian resident. The card alone will suffice to serve as proof of identity, proof of address and proof of date of birth. It is expected to help reduce corruption since every individual will have only one unique number. Aadhaar may be given more prominence in the years to come as more and more government schemes are being launched that require it as a mandatory document.
Recommended Read: What Will I Do If I Lose My Aadhaar Card?