In India, the two utmost vital documents that are considered as a proof of identity are Voter Identity Card and Aadhaar Card. The Voter Identity Card gets issued to you by the Election Commission of India to citizens of India who are above 18 years of age and therefore allows you to cast your vote in many elections held in your city, State and the country. The Election Commission of India issues Voter Identity Cards to persons who enrol themselves in the polling list. And therefore, your Voter Identity Card is treated to be an official and legal identity proof.

On the contrary, Aadhaar Card is a unique number, issued to Indian citizens with the children as well as the infants, on the basis of their biometric data and demographic information. 

What is an Aadhaar Card? 

Aadhaar Card is a unique identity card issued to the Indian citizen by the Unique Identification Authority of India- UIDAI. The card has an arbitrary grouping of 12 numerical figures that are unique for each Aadhaar cardholder. This 12-digit number is known as the Aadhaar card number and is used to identify individuals. The card comprises the demographic and biometric data of the person and therefore is used mainly for authentication. Aadhaar cards are issued free of charge and people can voluntarily apply to enrol themselves. Its uniqueness helps to remove duplicates and incorrect identities and is used as a key enabler to roll out plentiful Government welfare arrangements for better distribution of service. Globally this is the first step in India of its kind, in which a digital and online Id is available which is free at a huge scale to the residents of India.

While using the Aadhaar card, we often come across two terms which are OTP and TOTP. While most of us know about the OTP as One- Time Password, many of us are not aware of the TOTP. Here we will discuss TOTP in detail, but before that let us understand what is TOTP in aadhaar.

What is TOTP in an Aadhaar card?

  • TOTP (Time-based One Time Password) in Aadhaar is a one-time temporary password or OTP, that is generated by a set of rules and is valid only for a period of 30 seconds. And due to this time flexible characteristic, it is named as TOTP
  • TOTP is 8 -digits long numerical figure
  • TOTP is completely private to you and is exclusively generated every 30 seconds distinctly for everyone 
  • The TOTP authentication server and token generation applications like mAadhaar app, use their individual system times for the generation of OTPs. The TOTP algorithm takes into consideration that the system times are coordinated and thus generates the OTP

Why to use TOTP in aadhaar?

A probable question that may come to your mind is why do we need TOTP in aadhaar. Well, let’s see the same. TOTPs avoid many inadequacies that are linked with the old-style of SMS based OTP. One such most important shortcoming which is addressed or solved by TOTPs is that you will not be reliant on the mobile network for the delivery of the SMS. You need to go through an entirely unconnected workflow for the generation and sending of the OTP. TOTP is generated in mobile applications like mAadhaar- another digital initiative by the government of India. We will briefly see what a mAadhaar is.

What is mAadhaar?

The mAadhaar app is a mobile application that you will be able to download on your Smartphone or iPhone and use it. It can be downloaded in your Android phone via Google Play Store and also on your iPhone via Apple Store. You need to download the application and register yourself by giving the required details as required, after which, you will be able to download your e-Aadhaar as well. 

How to generate the TOTP in aadhaar?

As mentioned above, UIDAI offers a simulated facility named as mAadhaar, a mobile aadhaar app for effectively updating the details of your profile, if needed, in your aadhaar card or for downloading the soft copy of your aadhaar card like an e-Aadhaar on your smartphone, the. mAadhaar comes with several characteristics like a downloading of your profile on your android smartphone, locking or unlocking of your biometric details as well as generation of TOTP in aadhaar.

mAadhaar card permits you to make alterations in your profile by means of a TOTP. As stated above, the time-based one-time password or 8-digit TOTP in aadhaar is created by a set of rules and is effective for only 30 seconds. TOTP is an instance of a hash-based message verification code. Your mobile device’s time must be in sync with the Indian Standard Time zone or IST time-zone and this is the main prerequisite for generating a TOTP in aadhaar.

The TOTP in aadhaar is produced in mobile application mAadhaar. The Time-based one-time passwords are generally used for two-factor substantiation and have seen an increasing acceptance by the cloud application providers.

Besides the facility of a TOTP in aadhaar, there are many other features of a mAadhaar. And one such important feature is biometric locking or unlocking which is to protect biometric authentication by locking your biometrics data. And on the other hand, your Biometric remains locked till you select to unlock it, though temporary or Disable the system of Locking.

You can unlock Biometrics in the below two ways:

  • Temporary Unlock – Unlocked is only valid for 10 minutes
  • Permanent Unlock – Unlocked Forever

A good to know information is for you to unlock your biometrics permanently, the time taken will be 6 hours, so you may not be able to do authentication for the next 6 hours.

How to configure the app of mAadhaar?

You can easily configure the mAadhaar app in 3 simple steps

  • You can download mAadhaar android mobile application or iPhone as applicable
  • You need to create a profile for new resident
  • Navigate to TOTP page view, where your TOTP in aadhaar must be visible and will be effective for 30 seconds as mentioned before

Things to keep in mind TOTP in aadhaar

There is certain important aspect which you need to remember with respect to TOTP in aadhaar and they are stated as below:

  1. The mobile TOTP will only remain effective for 30 seconds for safety reasons
  2. Your device’s time must be in accordance with the IST time zone or Indian Standard Time zone
  3. Subscribers must have registered their cell number with Aadhaar for them to use mAadhaar app 
  4. mAadhaar is an app that is only applicable for cell phones with Android version 5.0 and above, as per the directive mentioned by UIDAI
  5. For mAadhaar to be functional, your smartphone must have the SIM of the Aadhaar-registered cell number and not any other mobile sim
  6. Users must ‘Allow’ the mAadhaar app to read the SMS. This app basically reads the OTP automatically, the OTP or One Time Password. As per UIDAI, the manual entry of an OTP has been deactivated for security reasons

Now, that you are aware of what is TOTP in aadhaar, you will be in a position to use the mAadhaar app smoothly. Go ahead and download the app and take the full advantage of being digital.


FAQ’s

Yes, your Android Version must be 5.0 and above for the mAadhar App to function properly.


Yes, it is compulsory for you to have your registered Mobile Number. An OTP is shared and auto-filled by registered mobile number in the mAadhaar app. In case your cell number is not registered with your Aadhaar, you may visit the nearest Aadhaar Enrolment or Update Centre and do the needful.


You need to follow the below steps to unlock your Biometrics:

  • You need to open your profile
  • Click on the top Right-Hand Side corner
  • Choose the Biometric settings
  • Choose the checkbox ‘Enable Biometric Lock’ 
  • In order to save your choice, you need to click on Tick Mark on top Right-Hand Side
  • An OTP will be produced which will be auto-filled and your biometrics will be locked
  • Your Biometric will be unlocked forever till unlocked

You need to follow the below steps to unlock your Biometrics:

  • You need to open your profile
  • Click on the top Right-Hand Side corner
  • Choose the Biometric settings
  • Select the checkbox ‘Enable Biometric Lock’
  • In order to save your choice, you need to click on Tick Mark on top Right-Hand Side
  • An OTP will be produced which will be auto-filled and your biometrics will be locked
  • Your Biometric would be locked forever till you unlock the same

Yes, it is possible. You can add up to 3 profiles maximum in your device, all with the same cell number registered in your Aadhaar. Auto-fill OTP is effective and hence you cannot add any profiles that are registered with any other cell number. If your family members have the same cell number registered as yours in their Aadhaar, you are allowed to add their profile in your mobile easily.