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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.
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.
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.
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
Now, if you’re someone who doesn't already own an Aadhaar card, here’s what you can do to get it:
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?