In our daily lives, we hear the word “Aadhaar” now and then. We know a bit about the same as it is an identity proof but often wondered as to what is an Aadhaar Card? And what is it all about? And many more queries. We also know that Aadhaar is a nation-wide accepted card which we need in many aspects. But probably we are not aware fully about Aadhaar and its importance. Well, let us see all those aspects here.
What is an Aadhaar Card?
An Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique figure issued by the UIDAI- Unique Identification Authority of India to the Indian residents after meeting certain identification conditions structured by the Authority. Any individual, regardless of age and gender, and is a resident of the country, may voluntarily enrol to have his or her Aadhaar number. The Individual has to give his or her demographic and biometric information at the time of the enrollment process and does not have to pay any charge for the same. Aadhaar Enrolment is done only once and is valid for the entire life.Aadhaar is a random number that does not have any intelligence and thus does not profile individuals based on their religion, caste, income, geography, and health.
Aadhaar – An initiative under “Digital India’
The new idea of Aadhaar being a significant platform of identity is one of the main pillars of the government’s initiative is ‘Digital India’, where each resident of the country is being given a unique identity. The Aadhaar scheme has by now accomplished many milestones and with the increasing importance of aadhaar card, it has become the most popular and the biggest biometrics-based identification scheme in the world. Aadhaar identity program with its intrinsic features of Distinctiveness, Validation, Financial Address with e-KYC, empowers the Indian Government to reach out to the residents of the country unswervingly in the distribution of numerous subsidies, benefits, and host of other services using the Aadhaar number. Its uniqueness is adequate to destroy all the duplicates and fake identities and can be used as the main identifier to launch various Government welfare activities for a better distribution of service, therefore, ratifying complete transparency and robust governance.
Here, we will talk more about the uses of aadhaar card and aadhaar card benefits in detail.
Uses of Aadhar card
The Government of India sponsors many social welfare programs that are focused in the direction of serving the underprivileged and the most susceptible segments of society. Aadhaar platform gives a unique chance to the administration to rationalize their welfare distribution mechanism thus making sure that there is transparency and structured governance. We will bifurcate and explain the uses of aadhaar card from two perspectives, one being from a resident’s point of view and the other from the Government’s viewpoint.
- Uses of Aadhar card – For the Residents
Aadhaar arrangement offers the sole source of both offline and online identity substantiation all over the country for its residents. Once you enrol, then you can use your Aadhaar to authenticate and confirm your identity several times utilizing electronic methods or by way of an offline verification, as appropriate. It abolishes the botheration of repetitively giving the supporting documents for identity every time you wish to access the desired or required facilities, benefits and grants. By providing a transportable identity proof that is verifiable by Aadhaar authentication online anywhere and at any time, the Aadhaar concept allows flexibility to masses who migrate from one place to the other. The key uses of aadhar card for residents are listed below:
- Proof of Identity Card and Beyond:
The Aadhar card not only serves as a proof of identity like a voters id or a passport, but the card has been created that can be used for many purposes thereby making it a commonly acceptable government-issued identity card, without even necessitating to register yourself or place an application for another card for these services. An example can be taken here as, an Aadhar card may be used as an identity proof, address proof and also proof of age while applying for government service. Like this, Aadhar is a multipurpose card as it can be used for all services and programs led by the government.
- The comfort of Availability:
Aadhar is one and only document that is available anywhere. With the online facility of downloading the soft copy named e-Aadhaar, you can carry the card with you all the time and use it as and when needed. You may have a question as to what is e -aadhaar? Well, e-aadhaar is nothing but a soft copy of your physical aadhaar having the same validity. This makes it easy for you to always have a duplicate of a valid identity document that is easily reachable thereby reducing the risk of the original document getting misplaced or lost.
- Availability of Subsidies:
This is the most crucial use of Aadhaar card is that it allows you to get benefits of government subsidies that you are qualified for. As the government has all the required data of you as a resident of the country, you need to just show your Aadhaar card to avail of the subsidies.
The Government of India has announced schemes whereby your Aadhar may be linked to your bank account and LPG connection so that you can get your LPG subsidy straight into your bank account. This also refutes the opportunity of the funds being misused or any person attempting fake claims to get the benefits.
- Availing facilities by Service Agencies:
By using Aadhaar, the process to avail any service becomes easy and hassle-free and you can easily avail the facility or get the benefit without any issue. Like the opening of bank accounts, applying for passports and many more.
- Inclusion of people without any identity documents:
Several people do not have the identification documents to receive the benefits given by the State. The “Introducer” concept in Aadhaar for data authentication for the UIDAI enables those residents to prove their identity.
- Uses of Aadhar card– For Governments and Service Agencies
Aadhaar authentication allows the removal of duplicates under many schemes and is anticipated to create considerable savings for the government exchequer. The scheme also gives the Government precise data on its beneficiaries, permits direct benefit programs, and permits the government and other service providers to synchronize and enhance many schemes. All these actions will lead to the following usages:
- Improving Competence and Effectiveness:
The Government can progress the distribution mechanism and use rare expansion funds more efficiently and competently with improved utilization of manpower involved in the entire network of service delivery.
- Restricting Leaks by targeted distribution:
Since the beneficiaries are already getting identified by way of Aadhaar, this will help in limiting the extra outflows and making sure that services are being distributed to the planned beneficiaries. Like subsidized food and kerosene distribution to Public Distribution System or PDS beneficiaries, etc.
Benefits of Aadhar card
Let us now see the benefits of Aadhar card which can be listed as below:
- Opening of Bank Accounts
You can use your Aadhaar Card as one of the vital documents under KYC or Know Your Customer for identification and authentication purposes. Banks and Financial institutions treat the Aadhaar Card as a valid photo ID and address proof for them to process the service requests like the opening of a bank account.
- LPG Subsidy
Aadhar card’s 12-digit number can be used by you to avail LPG subsidy amount getting directly deposited in your bank account. This DBTL (Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG Consumers Scheme) is known as PAHAL. You need to visit your zone’s distributor and have your Aadhar number linked to your 17-digit LPG consumer number. Though nowadays you get a direct benefit transfer facility by linking your bank account to the LPG number.
- Procurement of Passport
Procuring a passport is a time-consuming process as it has many steps to follow. It generally takes many weeks to finish all the required procedures and to get your passport. But with Aadhaar coming in, the procedure of getting a passport can be now accelerated. If you wish to have a passport, you can apply online for the same by just attaching your Aadhaar Card as your identity and residence proof with your application and you need to attach any further proof in general.
- The benefit of Digital Locker:
The government of India has introduced another digital means of having all the documents stored in an official server that belongs to the government and this is known as DigiLocker system. You can just sign-up for DigiLocker and link your 12-digit Aadhaar card number with the same.
- Linking of Voters Id
Linking your voter’s id with Aadhaar is another vital step taken by the government to eradicate false voters. It would become impossible for any voter to possess numerous voter ID cards if the aadhaar is linked to the voter’s id. As registering for Aadhaar needs a voter ID cardholder to be present in person and then furnish his or her Aadhaar card to the voting booth officer for linking purposes.
- Digital Life Certificate
The ‘Jeevan Pramaan for Pensioners’ or also named as Digital Life certificate was introduced by Mr. Narendra Modi, the Honourable Prime Minister of India. The purpose was to eliminate the need for a pensioner to be in person to get a pension for the continuance of their scheme. Now, pensioners need not come physically as their details are digitally stored and will be retrieved by the agency by way of their Aadhar Card numbers.
- Jan Dhan Yojana
The Jan Dhan Yojna admits your Aadhaar Card Number as the sole document for the opening of your bank account. The program offers substantial assistance to individuals staying in distant localities and rural parts to get the services offered by the banks.
- Ease of Provident Fund:
Alike pension, Employee Provident Fund Organization or EPFO has also introduced online submission of Aadhaar Based Claim for all PF account holders.
- PAN card and the IT return:
One of the finest steps taken by the Government to control black money by making the linking of PAN cards with Aadhaar a mandatory process.
Strengths and drawbacks of an Aadhaar Card:
- Aadhaar has been made voluntary in the line of thought that India is a democratic country and furnishing personal information or data should be a choice and not by force
- People who do not possess any ID document can get a government issued id for them to get the benefits which a government provides
- With Aadhaar, you can avail host of benefits as mentioned under the benefits section, thereby making the card, most demanded one across the country
- Aadhaar is a digital identification system and its uniqueness helps to eliminate frauds and false identifications.
- Aadhaar brings in substantial decrease in societal cost and also the cost of administration
- Aadhaar also helps to pinpoint people who avoids tax thereby identifying and controlling becomes easy
- Since Aadhaar is linked to several databases, there might be a chance of the data being compromised and therefore can be misused. This is one of the greatest risks that we have with the Aadhaar
- Aadhaar data can be misused as the same is connected with many bank accounts
- Centralization of Data may create several issues to the government and therefore to the common people
- There is a huge segment of people, about 30% of Indian population, who are poor and illiterate, and therefore do not understand Aadhaar and its aspects or scope. For them, getting an aadhaar is difficult. Therefore, chances of misusing their data or information becomes an easy task, even if they enrol themselves for Aadhaar.
- There are many remote places or rural areas where the facility of Aadhaar still haven’t reached, and people are not educated about this new digital identification system
Important points to remember for Aadhaar
- According to the judgement passed by the Supreme Court, it is not compulsory to link your Aadhaar to bank accounts. Nevertheless, Aadhaar is obligatory for filing of Income Tax returns and assigning of Permanent Account Number
- You need to give your Aadhaar number to avail the government welfare schemes and subsidies for example: LPG, kerosene, and various scholarships
- No child must be denied benefits of any programs for not being able to bring their Aadhaar card number. This is as per Supreme Court’s judgment
- It is also not mandatory to link your mobile number with the bank accounts, however by doing so, you can complete the financial and other transactions in a secured manner
- If you have an Aadhaar card and your mobile number is registered with your aadhaar records, with the Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI), it helps you to have a smoother financial lifecycle.
Knowing the several importance, usages and advantages of aadhar card and its growing acceptance, it would be beneficial to have an Aadhaar to avail of the benefits. Also, as a responsible citizen of India, let us aim to make this country a strong governing digitally advanced country by accepting and utilization of Aadhaar Card to the fullest extent.
No, certainly not. Your bank information does not get shared by the bank with anybody. No one can get any information about your bank account by just knowing your Aadhaar number. Likewise, UIDAI or any other entity will not have any data or information about your bank account.
Aadhaar is the latest service introduced by UIDAI which simplifies the Indian residents to have their Aadhaar letter reprint on PVC card by paying a very nominal charge. Also, those who do not have their registered mobile number can now place a request by way of their Non-Registered or any alternative Mobile Number.
Yes, you can. An NRI, adult or a minor possessing a valid Indian Passport can apply for an Aadhaar card from any Aadhaar Kendra in India.
No, you can’t. Presently, Aadhaar does not have the provision of an international or a non-Indian mobile number.
Yes, it is mandatory. Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961, introduced by the Finance Act, 2017 states that providing an Aadhaar or the Enrolment ID of the Aadhaar application form is mandatory for filing your income tax return.