Aadhaar Card – A Unique Identification Number
Aadhaar Card is an identification card which is issued by the government to every Indian resident. It serves many purposes and reduces a lot of paperwork by being a substitute to various documents. This increases its significance among Indian residents.
This article discusses the following topics:
Aadhaar card provides a 12-digit unique identification number according to the biometric and demographic data of individuals. It is issued by the Aadhaar statutory body, i.e. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), with the validity of a lifetime. Aadhaar was established on 12th July, 2016 to improve efficiency and transparency among citizens and the government. Its customer care number is 1947 which is toll free and can be dialed through any device with a network.
The significance of Aadhaar card lies in the fact that it can serve various purposes, such as:
- Act as Address Proof and Identity Proof
- Provide access to subsidies by government
- Provide eligibility to open new bank accounts and operate them
- Fulfill requirement of filing income tax returns
- Avail Phone or Gas connection
- Beneficial for completion of e-KYC for investments in mutual funds.
Aadhaar card can be issued by any Indian resident, of any age group. However, for children below 5 years of age, Bal Aadhaar is issued. As per the Aadhaar Act, 2016, any NRI or foreign citizen who has an Indian address, and has resided in India for 182 days or more in past 12 months before the enrolment application date, can apply to issue their Aadhaar Card.
To apply for Aadhaar Card, the identity proof and address proof of an individual are required. Any two of these documents may fulfil the purpose:
- For Proof of Identity: PAN Card, Birth Certificate
- For Proof of Address: Passport, Driving License, Ration or PDS card, Voter ID.
The whole process of Aadhaar enrolment is free of cost and voluntary for all applicants. This procedure is only a physical process and cannot be completed online.
To apply for Aadhaar enrolment for adults, the procedure involves these simple steps:
Step 1 – Go to the official UIDAI Website
Step 2 – Search for an Aadhaar Enrolment Centre near to you
Step 3 – Visit the Enrolment Centre and fill your details in the Enrolment Form
Step 4 – Submit the documents required
Step 5 – Provide the biometric information like fingerprint and iris scan, and get your photograph taken
Step 6 – Collect the acknowledgement slip for your enrolment
Step 7 – Receive an SMS for the processing of your Aadhaar Card.
To apply for the Aadhaar card of a minor below the age of 5 years, a Bal Aadhaar should be applied for.This card does not include the minor’s biometric information.Follow these simple steps to issue a Bal Aadhaar Card:
Step 1 – Go to the official UIDAI website
Step 2 – Search for an Aadhaar Enrolment Centre near you
Step 3 – Visit the Centre and submit a copy of the minor’s birth certificate
Step 4 – Provide one parent’s Aadhaar Card number for authentication purposes to link the Bal Aadhaar with the parent’s
Step 5 – Fill relevant details in the application form and provide one mobile number with which the Bal Aadhaar will be linked
Step 6 – The minor’s photograph will be taken but no biometrics will be required
Step 7 – Collect the acknowledgement slip, and receive an SMS for the processing of Bal Aadhaar.
To check the application status of your Aadhaar, visit the UIDAI website and log in to your account. Under ‘Aadhaar Enrolment’, click ‘Check Aadhaar Status’. Enter your enrolment number printed on the acknowledgement slip and submit. Your current application status will be displayed on the screen.
Follow these simple steps to verify your Aadhaar online:
Step 1 – Go to the official UIDAI website and login
Step 2 – Click ‘Aadhaar Services’
Step 3 – Select ‘Aadhaar Verification’
Step 4 – Enter your unique 12-digit Aadhaar Number
Step 5 – You will receive an OTP on your mobile number. Enter it on the screen
Step 6 – Click on ‘Submit’
Aadhaar can be updated for changing information regarding name, age, marital status, or the biometric information entered in the Aadhaar previously.
To update such details, one needs to provide documents in support of the address proof or identification proof of the individual, whichever needs to be updated.
Update the Aadhaar online by visiting the UIDAI website or offline by visiting the nearest Aadhaar Enrolment Centre.
A virtual ID for Aadhaar is provided as an alternative for the Aadhaar Number. IT is a 16-digit temporary number which is generated as an Aadhaar number’s alternative. Against one Aadhaar number only one virtual ID can be generated. There is no limit for generating this virtual ID. However, it cannot be used as a retriever of the original Aadhaar Card in any circumstance.
An electronic or e-Aadhaar can be downloaded and printed in case an individual does not have the physical copy of his/her Aadhaar. A PDF of the Aadhaar card can be downloaded through the UIDAI website and printed, which will be equally acceptable anywhere.
In order to provide availability of benefits and services to Aadhaar card holders from service providers, Aadhaar Authentication is carried out to verify individual’s details by submitting them to UIDAI for cross-verification.
Many service providers require the individual’s Aadhaar for e-KYC (Know Your Customer). It has great benefits for both the user and the government, because it is:
- Paperless: Does not require physical copies
- Secure: Has secured channels through which UIDAI only shares digital documents which cannot be tampered or used without the holder’s and service provider’s consent.
- Quick: Provides a quick channel to provide services
- Consensual: Nothing is shared with service provider by UIDAI without explicit consent (in the form of biometric or OTP) of Aadhaar holder.
- Cost-Friendly: Reduced costs due to elimination of paperwork
- Authorized: It is a legal process because UIDAI only shares information which has authenticated data.