What is Aadhaar card in India?

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Aadhaar is actually a 12digit number and not a card which is unique for every individual who enrol or apply to  get his/her Aadhaar number.

What is Aadhaar card?

  • Aadhaar is actually a 12digit number and not a card which is unique for every individual who enrol or apply to  get his/her Aadhaar number.
  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is the regulatory body for this. Aadhaar is meant for individuals of any age (including children) for the purpose of establishing identities.
  • Since Aadhaar is for only individuals, it is different for all the members of a family.
  • For deciding uniqueness of every individual, the demographic details (residence address information) of the person and his/her biometric information (photograph, irisscan, fingerprints) is collected which is stored in a centralized database.
  • Aadhaar is not a compulsory approach instead, it is voluntary based and any individual who is interested in having Aadhaar number for himself/herself can enrol or apply to get Aadhaar number.
  • Aadhaar number will be valid for the whole life of any individual and does not need to be changed or renewed from timetotime. A person can get his/her Aadhaar number for free of cost.

Why do we need an Aadhaar card?

 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 has a number.
  • The number will consequently form the basic, universal identity infrastructure over which Registrars and  Agencies across the country can build their identitybased applications.
  • Unique Identification of India (UIDAI) will build partnerships with various Registrars across the country to enrol residents for the number.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Who can get an Aadhaar card?

  •  Any resident of India, Non Resident Indian (NRI) or any foreign citizen residing in India can apply for Aadhaar. Since Aadhaar is meant for establishing unique identity and not for granting citizenship, even NRIs and foreign citizen residing in India can enjoy the benefits of Aadhaar. 
  •  Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident in India and satisfies the verification process laid down by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) can apply for Aadhaar card. NRIs, PIO’s as well as foreigners, living in India can apply for Aadhaar card and it is given free of cost to all applicants.

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