Aadhaar - Unique Identification Project

April 24, 2011 at 15:56 pm

Unique identification project was initially conceived by the Planning Commission as an initiative that would provide identification for each resident across the country and would be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services. It would also act as a tool for effective monitoring of various programs and schemes of the Government.

The unique number (UID) has been named Aadhaar, which translates into 'foundation', or 'support'. This word is present across most Indian languages and can therefore be used in branding and communication of the UIDAI program across the country.

What is Aadhaar?
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique number which the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will issue for all residents. The number will be stored in a centralised database and linked to the basic demographics and biometric information - photograph, ten fingerprints and iris - of each individual. The details of the data fields and verification procedures are available here.

Aadhaar will be:

  • Easily verifiable in an online, cost-effective way
  • Unique and robust enough to eliminate the large number of duplicate and fake identities in government and private databases
  • A random number generated, devoid of any classification based on caste, creed, religion and geography

Why Aadhaar?
Aadhaar-based identification will have two unique features:

  1. Universality, which is ensured because Aadhaar will over time be recognised and accepted across the country and across all service providers.
  2. Every resident's entitlement to the number.
  3. The number will consequently form the basic, universal identity infrastructure over which Registrars and Agencies across the country can build their identity-based applications.
  4. Unique Identification of India (UIDAI) will build partnerships with various Registrars across the country to enroll residents for the number.
  5. Aadhaar will ensure increased trust between public and private agencies and residents. Once residents enroll 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Online verification of Aadhaar-linked identity will give poor and rural residents the same flexibility that urban non-poor residents presently have in verifying their identity and accessing services such as banking and retail.
  8. The UIDAI will ensure that its Know Your Resident (KYR) standards do not become a barrier for enrolling the poor and has accordingly developed an Introducer system for residents who lack documentation. Through this system, authorised individuals ('Introducers') who already have an Aadhaar, can introduce residents who don't have any identification documents, enabling them to receive their Aadhaar.

Who can get an Aadhaar?
An individual who is a resident in India and satisfies the verification process laid down by the UIDAI can get an Aadhaar.

How to get an Aadhaar?
The process to get an Aadhaar will be circulated by the local media upon which residents need to go to the nearest Enrolment Camp to register for an Aadhaar. The resident primarily needs to carry certain documents which will be specified in the media advertisement.

Upon registering for Aadhaar, residents will go through a biometric scanning of ten fingerprints and iris. They will then be photographed and given an enrolment number upon completion. Depending on the enrolment agency, residents will be issued an Aadhaar number within 20 to 30 days.

There are many other said/un-said factors in which it will prove beneficial, such as, bringing down crime in the country by using UID as a tool to identify criminals using their biometric data like matching finger prints. Long thing in short, it's a great tool for India to progress, a massive challenging project - largest in the world and India look to its successful installation.

Source: UIDAI


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