What is Aadhaar Card?
An Aadhaar, referred to as an Aadhaar card, is a centralized Unique Identification (UID) number issued to every Indian citizen. It is a biometric card, wherein individuals personal details like address, eye retina and finger-prints are captured and stored in a government database. The Aadhaar card then requires to be linked to the citizens PAN No, Mobile Nos etc., Thus, ensuring all details belong to a particular person only. Aadhaar and linking of Aadhaar help a citizen to derive various government benefits.
The implementation of Unique Identification (UID) scheme entails generation and assignment of UID to residents; defining mechanisms and processes for interlinking UID with partner databases; operation and management of all stages of UID life cycle; framing policies and procedures for updating mechanisms and defining usage and applicability of UID for delivery of various services among others. The number is linked to the resident’s basic demographic and biometric information such as photograph, ten fingerprints and two iris scans, which are stored in a centralised database.
Starting with issuing of first UID in September 2010, the UIDAI has been targeting to issue an Aadhaar number to all the residents that (a) is robust enough to eliminate any duplicate or fake identities, and (b) can be verified and authenticated in an easy and cost-effective way online anywhere, anytime. The Government of India in a notification dated 16 December 2010 recognizes the letter issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) containing details of name, address and Aadhaar number, as an officially valid document.
Aadhaar, neither aims to replace any existing identity cards nor is it a cognizance of citizenship. It does not confer citizenship nor guarantees rights, benefits, or entitlements.
Reasons for Aadhaar
The unique ID, qualifies as a valid ID while availing various government services, like LPG connections or subsidized ration or kerosene from PDS or benefits under NSAP (National Security Assistance Scheme) or pension schemes like e-sign, digital locker. Universal Account Number (UAN) under EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation of India), and other services, like obtaining a SIM card or opening a bank account.
Apart from monetary benefits like LPG and kerosene subsidies; we take a deeper look at the benefits of Aadhaar:
The Jeevan Praman for Pensioners or the Digital Life certificate, aims to abolish the need for the pensioner to be physically present in order to receive pension for the continuation of their scheme. Pensioners can now avail pension without having to leave their homes as their details can be digitally accessed by the agency through their Aadhar Card numbers.
Individuals who link their Aadhar Card to their Pension Accounts can have their provident fund disbursed directly to their accounts through their provident fund organisation.
Aadhar Card numbers of pensioners need to be registered, with respective departments to ensure timely pension payments.
Aadhar is also used in banks for KYC (Know Your Customer) forms for quick verification and opening of bank accounts. The Jan Dhan Yojna accepts the Aadhar Card Number as the only document for the opening of a bank account. The scheme aims to offer considerable help to people in remote and rural areas to avail the services offered by banks.
Moreover, with the applicability of Aadhar, acquiring a passport is prompt and quick than before, as it serves as an authentic source of identity and residential proof.