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Aadhar Card Review

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Aadhar Card – Overview History

India is a country of over a billion, 1.3 billion to be precise, people and governing this vast population has its unique challenges. With natural boundaries and a land spread over a few thousands of kilometres in length and breadth, it is a humongous task for the government to supervise every Central scheme effectively.

There are other challenges too. These are bureaucratic lethargy, corruption, lack of adequate infrastructure and the list is long. This posed as a difficulty for the central ministries to implement plans that would benefit the citizens, especially the poor and the needy.

There was also the need to properly monitor the efficacy of the arrangements that were being implemented. There were siphoning off funds and spillages of resources along the way as a result of which development was slow.

Then there was the case of the dysfunctional Public Distributing System or PDS which was created as a panacea to the malaise of shortages. However, this system, over the years became a bedrock of corruption and scams of humongous scales began to appear.

This despite its budget being almost 1% of the GDP of the country.

This prompted the government to create a structure whereby every citizen would be connected via a unique identification number, quite similar to the US social security number or the SSN. Having this identification number would mean the citizen was a registered inhabitant of the country and all the benefits that the government had created for him or she would reflect in the database.

The idea behind the creation of the Aadhar Card was twofold. Not only monitor the effective implementation of central schemes but also get a wide spectrum view of national security.

All these prompted the government of the day, the United Progressive Alliance or the UPA to begin work towards making this a success.

They created a separate agency and named it Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDIA. It would become an extension of the Planning Commission, the highest decision-making body of the Government of India.

It became 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).

The Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDIA was headed by Nandan Nilekani, who to his credit was also one of the founders of one of India’s most iconic IT companies, Infosys.

One of the charters of the Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDIA was to simplify the entire bureaucratic process related to implementations.

With the establishment of this unique initiative, the government went further in empowering the system by asking the authorities to link the banking information of the user with his or her Aadhar Card.

So how was life before Aadhar Card?

It was one which involved a plethora of paperwork and umpteen signatures across several departments. Several rounds and proofs of residence were needed and this used to be taxing for the poor.

This also meant that bribes and tipping for quicker service became the norm as the human interface increased and so did the exposure to wrongdoing.

The current scenario is that Aadhar Card is linked across myriad identifications and thus makes it simpler to avail better services. The Aadhar Card is now linked to the driving license, pensions, passports et al making it an all-encompassing document.

There are many services where the requirement of the Aadhar Card is mandatory. Services like electricity connections, telephone connections, the opening of bank accounts ask for Aadhar Card information.

Aadhar Card has also made direct bank transactions for the families marked as Below Poverty Level relief recipients, easier.

REGISTERED OFFICEMANAGEMENT
Bangla Sahib Road, Behind Kali Mandir, Gole Market,Dr Anand Deshpande Member (Part-Time)
City: New DelhiPankaj Kumar
CEO
State: DelhiAlok Shukla
OSD to CEO
Pin Code: 110001Rupinder Singh
Deputy Director-General IT & Technology Procurement Division
Toll-Free:  1947Col. Rajeev Anand
Assistant Director-General IT & Technology Procurement Division
Email: [email protected]Dr Tanuja Pande
Deputy Director-General Finance & Accounts Division
Dr Y. L. P. Rao
Deputy Director of General & CVO Legal Affairs and Media

About Aadhar Card – Summary

HeadquartersNew Delhi, Delhi, India
Established Year2009
Company TypePublic
UIDAI Establishment28th January 2009
CEOPankaj Kumar
Member (Part-Time)Dr Anand Deshpande
SectorPublicly Owned
Agency Websitehttps://uidai.gov.in/

Aadhar Card Customer Ratings

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Mission and Vision

Vison

The primary mission of the UIDAI was to empower the citizens of the country with a unique identification number which will enable them to avail to all the services authenticated by the Government of India.

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Mission

  • The focal pillar for the creation of UIDAI was to track the effective implementation of Central Government schemes. These schemes meant that there could be a transfer of subsidies, benefits to the Aadhar Card holder. These deliveries of services would be directed by the Government of India, enable correct disposal of the same and without incurring additional costs to the exchequer.
  • To provide the cards to the residents on request after all procedures have been duly followed. To accommodate the smooth provision, due policies and procedures have to be made.
  • To create availability, scalability and resilience of the entire system so that it can maintain effective technological infrastructure
  • To create a sustainable ecosystem which will be able to carry on the work that the UIDAI was created for.
  • To make sure that the compliance of the Aadhar Card Act was observed at all levels by the consumer as well as by the authority.
  • To regulate and uphold the intricacies of the Aadhar Card act so that there is no misuse of the information being provided by the user and stored by the authority.

Benefits of having an Aadhar Card

Identity Card

This is essentially the most important benefit of having an Aadhar Card. The card ensures you are a citizen of the country and hence are eligible for all the services that are being provided to bonafide citizens.

It is an extremely versatile card which can be used for a range of purposes, about identity. One can use it as an identification to take part in the electoral process, or as an address proof or as simple as an identity card to prove your existence.

The universality of the card helps the user to avail many benefits derived from the ownership.

Subsidy

Whether it is the subsidy linked to LPG or benefits that are directly transferred to the bank account of the holder, Aadhar Card is the only document that makes it happen. The presence of the card also prohibits the misappropriation of funds and benefits. This was one of the original reasons why the scheme was initiated by the Government.

Availability

The Aadhar Card can be applied online. This is the only document that is available everywhere. All one needs to do is apply virtually and fill up a form and upload documents. Getting an Aadhar Card is not tough and the emphasis of the government has been to streamline this process further.

Benefits in acquiring documents

A passport is a must for international travel. It is also a document that helps qualify an individual as a citizen of a particular country. Hence, the verification process of passports is stringent. The government has now made the Aadhar Card mandatory for acquiring the passport.

All one needs to do while applying for a passport online is to upload the Aadhar Card details and a photocopy of it and it will be processed.

For pensioners, the Jeevan Pramaan for Pensioners or the Digital Life Certificate is a useful document. This removes the need for the pensioner to be physically present to receive pensions. To apply for the same, one has to provide Aadhar Card details.

For the correct disbursal of the Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar Card information is mandatory.

For individuals applying to withdraw the Provident Fund, the Aadhar Card information is necessary for the completion of the process.

Even the LPG subsidy can be availed only after the submission of the Aadhar Card information.

The above points show how useful the Aadhar Card is and that it helps the holder avail government schemes without any hassles.

Allegations against Aadhar Card

There have a lot of noises against the total implementation of Aadhar Card. Numerous protesting parties have filed PILs in the highest court of the land contesting against the efficacy and safety of Aadhar Card. There have been allegations of personal information being misused or even stolen.

The importance of the Aadhar Card cannot be understated. The database contains the information of a billion-plus populace.

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By 2019 alone, almost 123 crore Aadhar Card numbers were generated for use. So it can be imagined the huge data that is being stored in the servers. The security infrastructure needs to be robust to prevent unlawful entry. Towards this, the Government has deployed foolproof systems that can handle any exigency.

However, despite repeated assurances from the concerned Ministry or the Government of India, the clamour for more transparency has continued.

One of the major concern has been the data leaks that had taken place. The other being phishing sites which lure consumers, making them think it to be the Aadhar Card site and steal their information from them.

Till date, the UIDAI has had to shut thousands of such fake sites which were created to steal Aadhar Card information from unsuspecting consumers.

There was also an incident in 2018, where almost 200 government websites inadvertently published personal Aadhar Card details of a few thousand cardholders into the public domain.

It reached such levels when personal details could now be obtained by simply searching relevant keywords on Google.

The Government also had to block almost 5000 officials, since they were found accessing Aadhar Card details.

The Tribune had also reported the existence of an anonymous WhatsApp group which were selling Aadhar Card details for INR 500.

Sometime later, Aadhar Card information related to almost 1.6 million pensioners were accidentally made public, through a Jharkhand Government Website.

Keeping these missteps in mind, there has been an uproar across all the segments of society. There have also been questions regarding the veracity of the security of the database from hackers.  

There have been unverified reports that almost 130 million data have also been made public, albeit accidentally.

However, despite all these shortcomings, there has been a surge in the use of the Aadhar Card, mainly as a photo identity. The Government in its part, over time, has been able to plug the gaps that may have crept in. The cybersecurity of the database has been strengthened too.

One of the vulnerabilities that experts point out is replacing other means with Aadhar Card as a photo identity. What this entails is that in most cases people are storing these documents on their local machines which may later give rise to impersonation and misuse.

One of the biggest takeaways is the burgeoning research on Artificial Intelligence. With almost a billion data points and more getting added, the country will be able to harness this set of information to create one of the most robust Artificial Intelligence mechanisms in the world.

With time, this entire scheme will expand into a much more vigorous system and with the advent of technology, the Aadhar Card will be a model for the rest of the world.

How to get an Aadhar Card?

There are two ways of getting an Aadhar Card done.

1. By going to the nearest Aadhar Card registration centre

Look for the nearest Aadhar Card registration centre.

Fill up an e-form and take a print out of it.

Submit the form along with all your documents

After the documents have been verified, biometric data needs to be submitted. That will be the fingerprint and the retina scan.

A photograph will also be taken

The acknowledgement slip contains the 14 digit Aadhar Card number.

Keep the slip safely till you do not get your card.

It is important to know that in certain states and Union Territories, the enrolment is done by Registrar General of India:

The list includes:

  • Assam.
  • Meghalaya.
  • Arunachal Pradesh.
  • West Bengal.
  • Odisha.
  • Tamil Nadu.
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
  • Bangalore rural.
  • Jammu & Kashmir
  • Mizoram
  • Lakshadweep

However, the method for applying remains the same.

2. By applying it online and getting hold of an E Aadhar Card.

For the online method of applying for the card, it may take up to 3 months after the submission of the documents and the biometric details for the Aadhar Card to be mailed to the registered address.

One can also download the e –Aadhar Card if he or she is in a hurry. For the physical mailing of the Aadhar Card, the enrolment number or the Aadhar Card number needs to be inserted into the place holder.

This needs to be done through the website of UIDAI.

The applying for the Aadhar Card has evolved over the years and the Government of India is ensuring of streamlining it further. Getting a duplicate Aadhar Card is also easy now. One can do it in the same way the original was done.

Remember, there is a long list of documents that you can show as proof of residence. Some of them are:

  • Passport
  • PAN card
  • Photocopy of Ration Card/ PDS Photocard
  • Voter ID Card
  • Driving license
  • Photo identification cards issued by the GOI
  • Service photo ID cards that are issued by a PSU
  • Job card of NREGS
  • A photo identification that is issued by a Recognised Educational Institution
  • Arms Licence
  • Photo Bank ATM card
  • Photo Credit Card
  • Pensioner’s Photo Card
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This is not an exhaustive list and there are more items on the list. An applicant does have the option of carrying any of the aforementioned documents to apply for the Aadhar Card.

Aadhar Card Mobile Apps

mAadhaar

This app was released by the UIDAI to reach to a wider audience. Through this app, the sole aim of the government is to spread greater awareness regarding the existence and the importance of the Aadhar Card.

mAadhaar App Interface
mAadhaar App Interface
  • It is multilingual
  • This app is universal. That would mean you do not need to have an Aadhar Card to download and register into this app.
  • There are a host of functionalities that will be of great help to the user
  • One can apply for an Aadhar Card as well download it.
  • The user can change profile or update it any time.
  • There is an Aadhar Card locking system and the user can lock his or her Aadhar Card at any time
  • Once applied there is an OTP generation system which enhances security.
  • There is an option of multiple profiles (up to 3)
mAadhaar App Interface
mAadhaar App Interface
  • The user of the app can get information regarding the nearest enrolment centre
  • The Aadhar Card services are available also on SMS so that even there is an issue with data connectivity, the same services can be availed.

Aadhaar QR Scanner

This app is specifically created by the UIDAI to enable the scanning of the QR code which is present on the Aadhar Card.

Aadhaar QR Scanner
Aadhaar QR Scanner
  • The QR code that is present on the Aadhar Card is digitally signed by the UIDAI.
  • The QR scanner can read the masked information beneath the secured design.
  • The information available is aadhaar number, Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Address and Photograph of the Aadhar Card holder.
  • The Aadhar Card holder will be able to authenticate after the scan is done.

Aadhar Card Customer Care Support

Toll-Free:    1947
Email[email protected]
Websitehttps://uidai.gov.in/

Conclusion

The implementation of the UIDAI and authorising it to empower the citizens of the country by providing them with a Unique ID number has been a revolutionary step.

With a vast database, the UIDAI will also be able to augment artificial intelligence research in the country.

Armed with an Aadhar Card, a citizen will now be able to avail all the benefits that the government provides them with.

The earlier method of numerous paperwork and rounds of departments will now be a thing of the past.

Aadhar Card FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How to apply for an Aadhar Card?

There are two ways of getting an Aadhar Card done.

By going to the nearest Aadhar Card registration centre

By applying it online and getting hold of an E Aadhar Card.

By going to the nearest Aadhar Card registration centre

  • Look for the nearest Aadhar Card registration centre.
  • Fill up an e-form and take a print out of it.
  • Submit the form along with all your documents
  • After the documents have been verified, biometric data needs to be submitted. That will be the fingerprint and the retina scan.
  • A photograph will also be taken
  • The acknowledgement slip contains the 14 digit Aadhar Card number.
  • Keep the slip safely till you do not get your card.

By applying it online and getting hold of an E Aadhar Card

  • For the online method of applying for the card, it may take up to 3 months after the submission of the documents and the biometric details for the Aadhar Card to be mailed to the registered address.
  • One can also download the e –Aadhar Card if he or she is in a hurry. For the physical mailing of the Aadhar Card, the enrolment number or the Aadhar Card number needs to be inserted into the place holder.
  • This needs to be done through the website of UIDAI.

Q2: Can an NRI apply for an Aadhar Card?

An NRI will not be allowed to apply for an Aadhar Card.

Q3: What the future holds for Aadhar Card?

This is a revolutionary initiative by the Government and will ease the methods of governance in the future.

Q4: What are the benefits of Aadhar Card?

A passport is a must for international travel. It is also a document that helps qualify an individual as a citizen of a particular country. Hence, the verification process of passports is stringent. The government has now made the Aadhar Card mandatory for acquiring the passport.

All one needs to do while applying for a passport online is to upload the Aadhar Card details and a photocopy of it and it will be processed.

For pensioners, the Jeevan Pramaan for Pensioners or the Digital Life Certificate is a useful document. This removes the need for the pensioner to be physically present to receive pensions. To apply for the same, one has to provide Aadhar Card details.

For the correct disbursal of the Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhar Card information is mandatory.

For individuals applying to withdraw the Provident Fund, the Aadhar Card information is necessary for the completion of the process.

Even the LPG subsidy can be availed only after the submission of the Aadhar Card information.

Q5: What are the criteria to hold an Aadhar Card?

One must have been the resident of the country for a continuous of 182 days out of a calendar year.

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