What is Aadhaar Card?

There was a time when an individual has to collect and show number of documents to prove his identity and address – ration card, PAN card, electricity bill, telephone bill, election card, driving license, water bill, bank statement, passbook, birth certificate etc. It was a tedious task to apply different documents at different places.

But with the introduction of aadhaar card, one need to have ONLY aadhaar card, which acts as identity proof as well as address proof.

The requirement of all other documents has not been abolished. They are still useful at different places, and you should still get them. But there are places where Aadhaar card is sufficient to get your work done.

Aadhaar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on behalf of the Government of India.

The UID numbers provided are stored in a central database, where the individual’s biometrics like fingerprint, iris and other details will be stored. When an individual wants to apply for a scheme, then his UID number will be matched against his biometrics and authenticated.

This number will serve as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in India. Aadhaar letter received via India Post and e-Aadhaar downloaded from UIDAI website are equally valid.

Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident in India and satisfies the verification process laid down by the UIDAI can enrol for Aadhaar.

Each individual needs to enroll only once which is free of cost.

Each Aadhaar number will be unique to an individual and will remain valid for life. Aadhaar number will help you provide access to services like banking, mobile phone connections and other Govt and Non-Govt services in due course.

Some other information about Aadhaar:

Aadhaar will be:

  • Easily verifiable in an online, cost-effective way
  • Unique and robust enough to eliminate the large number of duplicate and fake identities in government and private databases
  • A random number generated, devoid of any classification based on caste, creed, religion and geography
# Aadhaar is Aadhaar isn’t
1. A 12-digit unique identity for every Indian individual, including children and infants Just another card
2. Enables identification for every resident Indian Only one Aadhaar card per family is enough
3. Establishes uniqueness of every individual on the basis of demographic and biometric information Collects profiling information such as caste, religion, and language
4. It is a voluntary service that every resident can avail irrespective of present documentation Mandatory for every Indian resident who has identification documents
5. Each individual will be given a single unique Aadhaar ID number An individual can obtain multiple Aadhaar ID numbers
6. Aadhaar will provide a universal identity infrastructure which can be used by any identity-based application (like ration card, passport, etc.) Aadhaar will replace all other IDs
7. UIDAI will give Yes/No answers to any identity authentication queries UIDAI information will be accessible to public and private agencies

Why Aadhaar

Aadhaar-based identification will have two unique features:

  • Universality, which is ensured because Aadhaar will over time be recognised and accepted across the country and across all service providers. Every resident’s entitlement to the number.
  • The number will consequently form the basic, universal identity infrastructure over which Registrars and Agencies across the country can build their identity-based applications.
  • Unique Identification of India (UIDAI) will build partnerships with various Registrars across the country to enrol residents for the number. Such Registrars may include state governments, state Public Sector Units (PSUs), banks, telecom companies, etc. These Registrars may in turn partner with enrolling agencies to enrol residents into Aadhaar.
  • Aadhaar will ensure increased trust between public and private agencies and residents. Once residents enrol for Aadhaar, service providers will no longer face the problem of performing repeated Know Your Customer (KYC) checks before providing services. They would no longer have to deny services to residents without identification documents. Residents would also be spared the trouble of repeatedly proving identity through documents each time they wish to access services such as obtaining a bank account, passport, or driving license etc.
  • By providing a clear proof of identity, Aadhaar will empower poor and underprivileged residents in accessing services such as the formal banking system and give them the opportunity to easily avail various other services provided by the Government and the private sector. The centralised technology infrastructure of the UIDAI will enable ‘anytime, anywhere, anyhow’ authentication. Aadhaar will thus give migrants mobility of identity. Aadhaar authentication can be done both offline and online, online authentication through a cell phone or land line connection will allow residents to verify their identity remotely. Remotely, online Aadhaar-linked identity verification will give poor and rural residents the same flexibility that urban non-poor residents presently have in verifying their identity and accessing services such as banking and retail. Aadhaar will also demand proper verification prior to enrolment, while ensuring inclusion. Existing identity databases in India are fraught with problems of fraud and duplicate or ghost beneficiaries. To prevent these problems from seeping into the Aadhaar database, the UIDAI plans to enrol residents into its database with proper verification of their demographic and biometric information. This will ensure that the data collected is clean from the beginning of the program. However, much of the poor and under-privileged population lack identity documents and Aadhaar may be the first form of identification they will have access to. The UIDAI will ensure that its Know Your Resident (KYR) standards do not become a barrier for enrolling the poor and has accordingly developed an Introducer system for residents who lack documentation. Through this system, authorised individuals (‘Introducers’) who already have an Aadhaar, can introduce residents who don’t have any identification documents, enabling them to receive their Aadhaar.

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