The UIDAI or Unique Identification Authority of India has introduced a new and dynamic identification system which is popularly known as Aadhaar. It contains a 12-digit Unique Identification Number or UID that records all the details, including biometric information as well as demographics, of every resident Indian. Many nations have their own Individual identification system, it is somewhat like the Social Security Number that the US government provides to its permanent citizens as well as temporary residents. However, the Aadhaar initiative of India is a revolutionary concept as it not only acts as a proof of identity and address, but also contains unforgeable information like the biometric records of a person. This makes the Aadhaar card unique among all other individual identification systems. It is the believed to be the largest national identification number project in the world.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which functions under the Planning Commission of India, was established in January 2009. It is an Indian Government initiative aimed at collecting the biometric data and the demographic details of each and every Indian resident. The UID stores this data in their database which is physically located at the Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar at Haryana. After collecting and verifying all the necessary data, the UIDAI issues the Aadhaar card to the individual.
As mentioned above, the 12-digit Aadhaar number is not just an identification document, but a crucial and unique card which holds your biometric data. It is being linked to almost every available financial service in India. Every Indian resident can apply for the Aadhaar card irrespective of any discrimination based upon their caste, creed, status, gender or religion.
It is your personal choice whether you wish to enroll for the Aadhaar card and enjoy the associated facilities. It is, at no time, a mandatory document. However, our country is gradually linking a plethora of services with the Aadhaar card and it is strongly recommended that you get one for yourself.
The Aadhaar card holds a lot of information about an individual. Some of it can be found on the card whereas some information is stored in the UIDAI database and can be accessed through official procedures.
What are my details that are stored in the UIDAI database?
What are my details that I can find on the card?
The Aadhaar card offers a variety of facilities and advantages and it is extremely important that you get yours. However, you need to know about the exact protocol to be followed for the same. As an applicant, you have to start by providing all accurate and relevant data at the time of enrolment. Once the data is verified, your Aadhaar card will be issued. The Aadhaar card status can also be tracked online. These are the steps that you should follow to get your Aadhaar:
Visit the nearest Aadhaar enrolment center: While most of the follow up process can be done online, the initiation has to be done by personally visiting an Aadhaar Enrolment Center. The online portal of UIDAI can help you to find the nearest authorized center. You have to visit the center with the required documents and follow through.
Fill the form: An Aadhaar enrolment form is freely available online (for download and print) in the UIDAI website. Alternatively, you can get it when you visit the Enrolment Center. Fill it up and submit it at the Enrolment center along with the necessary documents like Identity and Address Proofs. Make sure that you double-check all your personal data. Ensure that there are no errors.
Data collection: Once you submit the form, the Aadhaar Enrolment Official will verify your documents and start the enrolment. In this process, your photograph will be clicked and biometric data like your finger prints and Iris scan will be taken.
Acknowledgement Slip: When the enrolment process is completed, you will get an acknowledgement slip containing the enrolment number. This can be used as a substitute for the Aadhaar card till the same is issued. The enrolment number in this slip will help you track the Aadhar card status through the UIDAI website.
Issue of Aadhaar: UIDAI will verify all data and accordingly issue your Aadhaar card.
Dispatch: Once the verification is successfully completed, you will be alerted via email and SMS. The Aadhaar card will arrive at your registered postal address through India Post within 3 months of application. Alternatively, E-aadhar can be downloaded from the portal.
Aadhaar card is not just an identification number or identity card. The government launched it with greater plans and eventually it will be required for multitudinous purposes. It isn’t restricted to Indian citizens only, but also extended to others. Aadhaar card has liberal enrolment criteria.
You can apply for your Aadhaar card if you are:
an Indian citizen, residing in India
an NRI (Non-resident Indian)
an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India)
a foreigner residing in India
besides, a new born baby is also eligible for Aadhaar enrolment
It is mandatory for tax-payers to link your PAN card with Aadhaar in order to be eligible for filing income tax returns
Parents can apply for the Aadhaar card of their infants and newborns by furnishing the child’s birth certificate along with their own proof of identity and address. Such an Aadhaar card is color-coded in blue and requires an update of biometric data when the child turns 5 years old and again at the age of 15.
Foreign citizens residing in India can apply for an Aadhaar card to avail various facilities that it provides. However, such a person must have lived in India for at least 182 days in the past 12 months in order to be eligible to apply for Aadhaar. However, one must keep in mind that Aadhaar doesn’t prove Indian citizenship.
Documents required for Aadhaar application
You must submit an identity and address proof while applying for Aadhaar card. The following table contains a list of accepted documents.
Benefits of Aadhaar Card
The Aadhaar card has a plethora of benefits and the Indian Government is constantly upgrading and expanding the facilities that it provides. It is a vital document that every Indian must possess, although it isn’t mandatory. The Aadhaar Card can help you in the following ways.
Identity Card: It is the most reliable identity card as it contains your photograph as well as your biometric data. The QR code in your Aadhaar can be scanned to verify the authenticity of the data. It is accepted and highly preferred in all government and non-government verification procedures.
Residence Proof: Your Aadhaar Card contains your address and can be used as a proof of residence. This comes in handy when you apply for a home loan or a personal loan by simplifying an otherwise tedious process of document verification.
Government Subsidy: Unless your Aadhaar card is linked with your bank account, you are not eligible to avail government subsidies on products like LPG cylinders, kerosense, rationed grocery as well as government schemes like Pahal and Atal Pension Yojna.
Bank Accounts: Nowadays, opening a bank account has become extremely easy and hassle-free. All you need is your Aadhaar card (along with your PAN card, of course) and you are sorted. It also helps immensely whenever you subscribe to any new or additional banking service.
Income Tax: You must have an Aadhaar Card to file for Income tax returns.
Phone Connection: In today’s world of digital expansion, almost every Indian owns a phone connection. Recently, the government announced that telephone connections need to be linked to your Aadhaar card. No Aadhaar card? Well, soon you might have to live without a phone.
e-KYC: KYC, or Know Your Customer is a policy followed by all kinds of service providers where a customer needs to provide relevant documents for the verification of identity and address among other things. Aadhaar is one document that will get you through all KYCs – be it for a Gas Connection, a bank account, a telephone connection or investing in mutual funds.
Well, that’s how important an Aadhaar card is! If you already have one, that’s great. If you still don’t have one, please rush and get it at the earliest.