The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Prior to its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog) vide its Gazette Notification No.-A-43011/02/2009-Admn.I) dated 28th January, 2009. Later, on 12 September 2015, the Government revised the Allocation of Business Rules to attach the UIDAI to the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) of the then Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
UIDAI was created with the objective to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India that is (a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and (b) can be verified and authenticated in an easy, cost-effective way. The first UID number was issued on 29 September 2010 to a resident of Nandurbar, Maharashtra. The Authority has so far issued more than 111 crore Aadhaar numbers to the residents of India.
Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI Aadhar is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and perform authentication and also required to ensure the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.
Reasons for UIDAI
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.
Enroll for UIDAI here