What is Aadhaar/Adhar Card ?
Aadhaar Card, also misspelled as Adhar Card or Aadhar Card or Adhaar Card, is a 12 digit unique identification number issued by India government to every individual resident of India based on their bio-metric or demographic data. Aadhaar is a Hindi word and has a meaning of ‘Foundation’ or ‘Base’. The Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI) which works under the Planning Commission of India, is responsible for managing Aadhaar cards/letters. However the journey of Aadhaar was started on February 7, 2012 when UIDAI launched an online verification system for Aadhaar numbers. The system enables banks, telecom companies and all governmental departments to verify if a person is a resident of India or not just by entering a unique identification number. After that, on November 26, 2012 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched a direct Aadhaar-linked benefit transfer scheme by directly transferring money to the residents’ bank account. The aim of the Aadhaar scheme is to prevent leakages by eliminating fakes and duplicates. It enables to deliver all benefits and subsidies directly to the residents of India making a transparent system.
The features of Aadhaar:
- Aadhaar is a unique number linked to individual’s bio-metric data. So, one resident can have only one Aadhaar number. This helps in eliminating fakes and duplicates through Aadhaar based authentication.
- The UID-enabled bank account network offer a secure and low cost electronic benefit transfer to residents.
Any agency or service providers from anywhere of India can contact central unique identification database to confirm a beneficiary’s identity.
- The poor and marginalized people often don’t have a identification document to receive various benefits from state. The “Introducer” system enables such residents to establish an identity.
- Self-service feature of Aadhaar puts residents in control. Aadhaar-based authentication enables the resident to receive up-to-date information about their entitlements. They can give their feedback, redress complaints from their mobile phones, Kiosks or other means.
- Aadhaar-based monitoring significantly improves the quality of entitlements to beneficiaries and increases transparency in the system.
Uses of Aadhaar:
The use of Aadhaar increases day by day. One can use Aadhaar in any system that requires to establish a identity of a resident. It also provide extra security for residents to access their benefits or services through this system. As of now, the use of Aadhaar is in the following programs given below:
- Education- Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyaan, Right to Education etc.
- Food and Nutrition- Mid-Day Meals, Integrated Child Development Scheme, Food Security, Public Distribution System etc.
- Healthcare- Janashri Bima Yojana, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana etc.
- Social Security- Janani Suraksha Yojana, Development of Primitive Tribe Groups, Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme etc.
- Employment- Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, Indira Gandhi Awaaz Yojana, Prime Minister’s Employment Guarantee Program etc.
- Other purposes including Banking, Property Transaction, Telecom Services, Pan Cards etc.
Future of Aadhaar
Any person can apply for Aadhaar. Similarly, agencies providing benefits and services may choose to use Aadhaar in their systems and may require that their beneficiaries or customers provide their Aadhaar for these services. It is already in use for cooking gas subsidy and other government welfare schemes. The government’s rural job program also extensively uses an Aadhaar-based payment system. Aadhaar may become the only identity (ID) card in future, while making it mandatory for filing of income tax returns is necessary to curb tax evasion and frauds as said by the finance minister, Arun Jaitley. World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer described Aadhaar as “the most sophisticated ID program in the world”.