Aadhaar Card: An Overview
- India has developed a unique identification system commonly known as Aadhaar card or Unique Identification Number (UID) that could fulfill all the requirements of identifying people who are residents of India.
- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was established for fulfilling the task of issuing the Aadhaar Card.
- The agency was established in January 2009 by the government of India and functions under the control of the central government.
- The purpose of Unique Identification Authority of India is to establish the unique identity of every individual who is residing in India and for fulfilling this purpose biometric information which includes photographs, iris scan, and fingerprints of individuals are collected and also the residential details of every person living in India is maintained.
- Such identification systems are followed by many nations as it helps the governments of those nations to provide direct benefits to individuals living in the country and enhance digital services.
- The benefits can include things like various subsidies that the government provides to individuals which include subsidies like the subsidy on gas, subsidy for agricultural, etc.
- For example, Indonesia has eKTP national identification system, under which an electronic card which contains fingerprints of citizens is issued to every citizen. In America, there is a similar system referred to as the Social Security Number.
- The nine-digit number is provided to the permanent citizens as well as to the temporary citizens living in the United States.
- In India, the main data collection center of the Unique Identification Authority of India is located in the Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar, Haryana, there the Aadhaar data is stored.
- The data that is collected, is stored in a centralized database system called “Central Identities Data Repository”.
- The UIDAI issues the 12 digits unique identification number to the Indian residents, which is called Aadhaar card.
- This project has become the biggest biometric database collection project in the entire world. This unique identification system involves the issuance of a 12 digit Aadhaar number and an Aadhaar card.
- The project serves to issue a common card of identity proof and address proof for everyone and links them with other services like UAN, bank accounts, and pension schemes.
When is Aadhaar card issued?
- The Aadhaar card is a unique identity card that is issued once the Aadhaar application has been approved by the authority and an Aadhaar number has been assigned to the applicant.
- If you are already an Aadhaar number holder, then you can download it as a pdf file using your Aadhaar enrolment number or the Aadhaar number.
- It must be noted that having Aadhaar card is not necessary to enjoy benefits of Aadhaar, you can still enjoy Aadhaar benefits through Aadhaar number.
Purpose of Aadhaar card
- The purpose of the Aadhaar is to make it one common number that would work as proof of address and also proof of identity.
- Another reason is that it will make it simple for people to avail government subsidies and also its creation would help curb illegal immigration to the country.
- Aadhaar is not a card that could replace the need for driving licenses or passports. Also, it doesn’t identify a person as part of any family and no individual can own more than one single Aadhaar number.
- In case you lost it you can get the duplicate Aadhaar card which is equally valid
Importance of Aadhaar Card
Universal Identity Card
- Aadhaar card is important because it was created as a unique and universal identity card for the people residing in India.
- It help to remove the requirement for producing different documents for availing various services created by the government of India.
Life Time Validity
- Aadhaar card remains valid throughout the life of the person. The Aadhaar card comes with no expiry dates or any other validity conditions.
- The information on Aadhaar card can be changed and updated but the 12 digit Aadhaar number once allotted remains the same on the card and cannot be changed.
- The government of India tends to provides subsidies to particular individuals or group of individuals which is a kind of government aid, support, grant, in cash or kind, however, there have been instances when such welfare aids have been misused.
- The Aadhaar system was adopted to help resolve this problem and ensure that those individuals who require welfare aids and are lawfully entitled to it, get it.
- Aadhaar card determines the identity that would prove a person’s eligibility to enroll in government programs like Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan and other government welfare initiatives.
Used for Phone Connections
- The government has moved ahead with linking of Aadhaar with mobile SIM card.
- That means mobile phone users will have to link their Aadhaar number with SIM numbers.
- Telecom companies have been instructing users to start the process of linking their Aadhaar cards with phone numbers.
- To get new cell phone connections, the Aadhaar card is used to replace KYC documents like identity proofs and proof of address.
- The government has been promoting linking of Aadhaar card with the bank account of the individuals so that people can enjoy direct benefit transfers.
- For example, subsidies for various products such as kerosene, sugar, pulses, rice and other products whose rates are subsidized are directly transferred to the linked account.
- The payments of various welfare schemes introduced by the government are directly transferred to the linked account.
- According to the government orders, those people who have Aadhaar card can use it to avail subsidy on gas cylinders.
- To avail the benefits individuals will have to have an Aadhaar card that is linked to the gas connection and also to their bank accounts.
- For example, LPG cylinder subsidy amount is directly credited to the Aadhaar linked bank account after the LPG consumer number is linked.
Why link Aadhaar number to pan card?
- It is considered that linking of the Aadhaar number with the PAN card is part of the government drive against black money. It also promotes the government initiative of making digital India under which all government records are being digitalized. It is mandatory to link Aadhaar with PAN
- Aadhaar is a 12 digit number which is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to the people residing in India, while PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the I-T department to a person, firm or entity in India.
- The linking of Aadhaar card of those people who are taxpayers with the PAN card has been made mandatory by the Income Tax Department. A deadline of March 31, 2018, has been set for PAN card and Aadhaar card linking.
- In case someone fails to do so, then that person’s income tax return will not be taken up for processing u/s 143(I) of the Income Tax Act.
- Three simple steps to link Aadhaar with PAN card:-
- Go to the income tax website: http://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/home
- Choose the ‘Link Aadhaar’ option over there.
- Enter PAN card details and Aadhaar number and your name as it is on the Aadhaar card.
Aadhaar is not just an ordinary card. The Aadhaar number allotted to an individual is a unique number under which an individual’s details are stored after due authentication process along with demographic information and biometric information of an individual that is submitted to the Central Identities Data Repository.
What Is Aadhaar Number?
- Aadhaar number is the 12 digits unique identification number that a person who is a residing in India holds with himself, which consolidates other information about them such as bank accounts info, passports, phone connections, pan card details.
- It also holds demographic information and biometric data which means the photograph, fingerprint, Iris scan of the person to whom it is issued.
The format of the number
- A person who is allotted an Aadhaar number, they get a 12 digit number assigned to them.
- The reason for having 12 numbers in this digit is because the identity of 100 billion people can be stored in numerous numbers.
- There are 100 billion identities that are provided by the first 11 digits of the Aadhaar number and the last digit is meant as a check-digit to prevent errors in data entry.
Details of Aadhaar Card
Aadhaar card displays the basic details of the person. These details include:
- A person’s photograph on the left side.
- Name of the person.
- Person’s date of birth.
- Gender of the person.
- The barcode on the right side of the card.
- Below is 12 digit Aadhaar number.
- On the back side of the card is the address of the person.
How to update or make corrections on your Aadhaar card?
- Once Aadhaar card is issued, the 12 digit Aadhaar number allotted to individuals remains the same for life but corrections in Aadhaar card can be done if by chance any mistake is made in name, address and other information and also Aadhaar card can be updated from time to time if any person wants to change his address, phone number, and other information, changes can be done through Aadhaar correction form.
- To do this there is a simple process, log on to the government website “uidai.gov.in” and from there you can download the update request form.
Or you can follow the link below: https://uidai.gov.in/images/UpdateRequestFormV2.pdf
Below is the duplicate image of how Aadhaar Card update form looks like.
Aadhaar Card Vs Aadhaar Number
- It is not necessary to get Aadhaar card instantly and but everyone should have the Aadhaar number once their enrolment process is completed. A person need not carry Aadhaar card along with him all the time because the
- Truth is that the main thing with Aadhaar is not the card but the number. That is what holds the key to a person’s identity. You need to just remember the Aadhaar number in order to avail the benefits of Aadhaar card because this is a digitally managed process.
Eligibility Criteria for Aadhaar Card
- Aadhaar is supposed to be a number that identifies the individuals those who are residing in India.
- It is the document that can serve multiple purposes ranging from a proof of address to identity proofs.
- It is digital identification system that can even help the person to enjoy benefits of special schemes announced by the government.
- The government of India has made it mandatory for every individual residing in India to get Aadhaar card for themselves.
- For this purpose, the government has set up certain eligibility criteria that people desirous of getting Aadhaar numbers need to fulfill.
- The process of enrolment for Aadhaar card is not too technical or complicated.
- It is to be remembered that Aadhaar is meant to establish a person’s identity and his demographic information.
Individuals eligible for Aadhaar card are:
- According to Aadhaar Act 2016, Individual who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to one hundred and eighty-two days or more in the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment can apply for Aadhaar card.
- Indian citizens can apply for Aadhaar card.
- Non-resident Indians can also apply for this card.
- Foreigners who are residing in India can also get an Aadhaar card for themselves.
Aadhaar for Indian Residents
- Every individual who is an Indian resident, irrespective of their race, religion or gender, is eligible to apply for an Aadhaar number.
- This initiative was facilitated by the government of India to ensure that each resident of India had a unique identification number so that people could enjoy benefits of welfare schemes of the government.
Aadhaar for Minors
- Minors who are less than the age of 18 years are eligible to apply for an Aadhaar and even newborn babies can be given Aadhaar number but in their case, a birth certificate is required along with the proof of identity of their parents and proof of address of their parents.
- But once they turn 15 years of age their biometric data is to be updated.
Aadhaar for NRI’s
- Even non-resident Indians can apply for Aadhaar so that they too can participate in the convenience that this system promises to provide.
- The process of enrolling for Aadhaar card and documentation for NRI’s is similar to that followed by Indian residents.
- This means a person who has resided in India for a period or periods amounting in all to 182 or more in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for enrolment can apply for Aadhaar card.
Aadhaar for foreigners
- A person can think as to why a foreigner needs an Aadhaar card but since Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship, the government has made this card available to foreigners who are residing in India.
- Aadhaar cards can be issued to foreigners if they submit the necessary documents.
How to get an Aadhaar Card?
Follow the process below to get Aadhaar card
- Firstly book an appointment at the nearest Aadhaar center. This can be done by visiting the UIDAI website. Online there is a form that will collect information about your contact details, the number of people applying for the card and allows you to select an enrolment center and choose a date for the visit.
- Once you book your appointment, you will have to go to the Aadhaar center with the required documents and your biometric data in the form of fingerprints and iris records will be collected.
- After all your information has been collected it will be verified by the enrolment authorities.
- The verification process takes some time and when verification is successful you will receive a notification by SMS or email informing that your application has been successfully verified.
- Soon the Aadhaar number will be issued to you by the authorities.
Documents required for Aadhaar Card
You need to have some document as the proof of the following
- Age proof.
- Identity proof
- Address proof
- Proof of marriage
As the proof of things mentioned above you can carry the following documents
- Voter identity card
- Drivers license
- PAN cards
- Birth certificates in case of a minor.
- SSLC certificates
- You can get the Aadhaar form online by visiting the site of UIDAI. It is known as the enrolment/correction form and can be used to apply for a new Aadhaar card or for correction of to the details of an existing Aadhaar card.
- The form will collect the required information of the person along with information about the documents that are being submitted as the supporting documents.
- You can just follow this link to download the form:
This is how the Aadhaar enrolment/correction form looks like.
Fee for Aadhaar Card
- Registration for Aadhaar card is absolutely free of any charges.
- The government has been promoting Aadhaar card for a very long time now and has made all the efforts to render Aadhaar card to each and every individual residing in the country.
- For this purpose, Aadhaar card enrolment is free. However, the nominal amount of 25 to 50 rupees are charged for the biometric and demographic updates.
- The government itself takes up the burden of charges of delivering the Aadhaar card.
- This is a service that is being provided to all the individuals whether rich or poor by charging only nominal amounts and has no extra charges associated with it.
Know More about Aadhaar Card
- Aadhaar card is the biggest ever unique identification project started by the government of India to reach the largest number of people in a country of 100 to 120 billion people.
- It is the most successful projects of the government because the maximum number of people in India have applied for Aadhaar enrollment.
- The number of people having Aadhaar card is larger than the number of people having voter ID cards and pan cards in the country.
- While voter Id card act as an age proof for a person and driver’s license act as the address proof, the Aadhaar card act as both Age proof as well as address proof.
- Aadhaar is the all in one proof.
- Also Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi himself is promoting the notion of digital India and Aadhaar card is the first massive step taken up by the central government to make India digital by providing digital identity to people, that contains all the information of the person and its benefits can be availed without physically carrying the card, just by remembering the allotted Aadhaar number and giving fingerprints.
The Unique Identification Authority of India
- It was established under the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
- It is the central government agency of India which acts as the issuing authority for Aadhaar cards. Prior to its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission in 2009.
- This authority has so far issued more than 111 crore Aadhaar numbers to the people residing in India which is the biggest accomplishment of such project of issuing identity cards worldwide.
How to apply for an Aadhaar card?
- Today most of the government agencies as well as private companies demand Aadhaar card as a proof of identity and residence proof because of the ease of using Aadhaar as a valid proof.
- However, you can apply for Aadhaar card online as well as offline by visiting the Aadhaar centers.
- Booking an appointment online and visiting the enrolment center are the major parts of the process of getting an Aadhaar card.
How to get an appointment for Aadhaar enrolment process?
Booking an appointment is optional while applying for an Aadhaar card. But booking an appointment can save a lot of time. UIDAI has made the appointment process much easier and you can book your appointment with much ease just by visiting the website: https://services.india.gov.in/service/detail/book-appointment-online-for-aadhaar-card-1
How to update Aadhaar card details?
- Once the registration and verification process is completed by the authorities, UIDAI issues unique Aadhaar number to an individual.
- In case a person realizes that they have made mistakes in providing details after the Aadhaar card has been generated then he/she needs to visit UIDAI website which contains provisions to change the details present in the card.
How to check Aadhaar status?
- Applying for Aadhaar is an easy process and can be done both online and offline.
- A person can also check the status of their application to know about the status of their application.
- Aadhaar status can be checked through the online portal provided by UIDAI.
- On the online portal, you need to enter your enrolment id, put date and time and enter the security code.
This is the link to check the Aadhaar status: https://resident.uidai.gov.in/check-aadhaar-status
How to get a duplicate Aadhaar card?
If a person loses or misplaces their Aadhaar card, he/she needs to visit UIDAI website and select the retrieve lost UID option on the site, from where a person can avail a duplicate Aadhaar card in case their original Aadhaar card is lost or misplaced.
What to do if Aadhaar card is not received?
- There is a due procedure followed to get an Aadhaar card. After the authorities verify the details then the UIDAI dispatches the card.
- An applicant can also track the status of their application online.
- In certain cases, the status will be that the card has been dispatched, but the applicant did not receive his card.
- There can be delays on the part of the dispatching authorities.
- You can log on to the UIDAI website and download a copy of your Aadhaar card by entering the enrolment or Aadhaar number.
Documents required for an Aadhaar card?
- In order to apply for Aadhaar card, the applicant has to fill in certain forms and attach some of his documents.
- The documents attached needs to be real and should consist of original information of the applicant.
- For this purpose, an applicant needs to attach the copies of his identity card as well as address proof.
How to apply for Aadhaar without any documents?
- To apply for Aadhaar card the applicant needs to submit his address proof, identity proof, date of birth proof, etc.
- In some cases the applicant may not be able to furnish such documents. For such cases, you need to apply using the enrolment forms but you will also have to take the help of an introducer.
- You can even apply for Aadhaar with the help of the person who has already enrolled with Aadhaar, that person can be head of your family.
- The verification of your address and identity will then become the responsibility of the introducer. If you don’t have a person who is head of your family then you can approach an introducer who is registered with UIDAI and is generally appointed by the registrar.
- Once your form has been submitted, the procedure becomes the same as that for applications which are supported by documents. The introducer will also have to support your application by giving his biometric data and attest the application alongside your attestation, whenever required.
Common problems with Aadhaar and how to resolve it
UIDAI along with government of India has tried best possible manner to make the Aadhaar application process easy for individuals who want to enrol for Aadhaar card, but still there are some problems faced while enrolment process and also after getting the Aadhaar card people face problems like wrong information on the card, misplacement of card, getting duplicate card etc.
Aadhaar inquiry and complaints
UIDAI, has provided all the Aadhaar information online and tried to relieve the people from facing any Aadhaar problem but even there are several people who face the problem.
Seeing this UIDAI has made various mediums through which one can file their complaints online and get their query solved regarding their Aadhaar card.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long is the Aadhaar card valid for?
Ans. Aadhaar card once issued to an individual is valid for lifetime.
Q. Is it mandatory to get an Aadhaar card?
Ans. No, but according to the government orders it is mandatory to get an Aadhaar card for availing LPG subsidies and also Aadhaar card is mostly demanded in various government offices as it acts as a strong identity proof.
Q. Will I still get government subsidies and other benefits without an Aadhaar card?
Ans. There is no official announcement on the part of honorable Supreme Court of India for making Aadhaar mandatory for getting government subsidies but the central government has made it clear that Aadhaar is important for getting LPG subsidies. So, it’s better to have an Aadhaar card as the government is keen on making Aadhaar card mandatory to avail government services.
Q. Are e-Aadhaar and the Aadhaar card the same thing?
Ans. Both are same and both are relevant. While Aadhaar card gets dispatched to your address from the UIDAI authorities like other documents like driver’s license etc.
The e-Aadhaar is a document that is available online on the UIDAI website and can be used as a copy of the Aadhaar card.
Q. What should I do if I have lost my Aadhaar card?
Ans. If in any case, you have lost your Aadhaar card you can simply visit the UIDAI website and from there you can download duplicate copy of Aadhaar card.
Q. Can I check the status of my Aadhaar application or request for corrections?
Ans. Yes, you can anytime check the status of your Aadhaar application and you can even request for corrections in your Aadhaar card simply by filling a correction form online.
Q. Can I have more than one Aadhaar card?
Ans. No, only one Aadhaar card is allotted to an individual and in no case, a person can have more than one Aadhaar card at the same time.
Q. Who can apply for the Aadhaar card?
Ans. Aadhaar card is available to all Indian residents, as well as NRI’s and also to foreigners after fulfilling required conditions.
Q. What is the fee charged for registering for Aadhaar card?
Ans. Registering for Aadhaar card is free of cost.
Q. I registered for Aadhaar long ago and still have not got the card. What can I do?
Ans. There can be some reasons due to which you are not able to get your Aadhaar card. You must check the status of your Aadhaar application online, because there are chances that your application might have been rejected. In this case, you need to apply for a fresh Aadhaar application again.
Q. How do I collect my Aadhaar card once it’s issued?
Ans. You need not go anywhere to collect your Aadhaar card because Aadhaar card will be sent to the address that you have given during the registration process.
Q. Is having a mobile number for Aadhaar important?
Ans. Yes, mobile number is very much important for Aadhaar because you will get all the OTPs (One-time passwords) for logging into the UIDAI websites on your registered number.
Q. What is meant by EID number?
Ans. EID is the 28-digit number in enrolment id issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India. It is also mentioned in the acknowledge slip of Aadhaar. This number consists of:
- Station code: 5 digits
- Date: 8 digits
- Time: 6 digits
- EA code: 4 digits
- Sequence: 5 digit