Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number, assigned by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to all the residents of India. The residents get this number by providing their biometric and demographic details at the various government authorized Aadhaar enrolment centers. This programme was launched by the former prime minister of India, Dr.Manmohan Singh, in 2009. On September 29, 2010, Ranjana Sonawane from Nandurbar district of Maharashtra state became the first Indian to receive the Aadhaar card.
In April 2010, Nandan Nilekani, who was appointed as the Chairman of UIDAI on June 23, 2009, launched the logo and the brand name “Aadhaar”. Aadhaar is a Hindi word that means ‘base’ or ‘foundation’. Currently, Mr. Pankaj Kumar is the CEO of UIDAI/Aadhaar.
Eligibility for Aadhaar Enrolment
Aadhaar was brought into effect to provide people residing in India with a document that can be used as a unique identity proof for various purposes. It is more than just an identification number. However, it is also not only Indians that can apply for Aadhar.
The eligibility criteria for Aadhaar enrolment are as follows:
- The applicant is an Indian Citizen residing in India, or
- The applicant is a non-resident Indian residing in India, or
- Aadhaar applicant is a foreigner residing in India
Even new-borns can enrol for a special type of Aadhaar known as Baal Aadhaar
Aadhaar Card for Resident Indians
Every Indian citizen can apply for Aadhaar card and get the number. The government has now made it mandatory for taxpayers to link their PAN with Aadhaar for filing their annual income tax return (ITR).
Aadhaar Card for Minors
Unlike voter identification card, Aadhaar enrolment is available for minors. To apply for Aadhaar card for children, you have to provide the birth certificate of minor child along with the proof of identity and address of parents. New-borns can also be enrolled for Aadhaar. However, they have to update their biometric data as soon as they turn 5 and 15 years old. The Baal Aadhaar card for children below 5 years is blue in colour.
Aadhaar for Foreigners
Aadhaar is not a proof of Indian citizenship. It just contains various details such as biometric data necessary to identify a person. Thus foreigners who are residing in India are eligible for Aadhaar even though they are citizens of another country. However, they have to reside in India for more than 182 days in the past 12 months to be eligible for Aadhaar.
Documents Required for Aadhaar Card
Applicants have to submit two documents at the time of enrolment – Proof of address (POA) and Proof of Identity (POI). Any of the following documents would be accepted by the UIDAI as the identity proof of the individual. These documents have the name and photograph of the individual which qualify them to act as an identity proof. Here is the list of the documents required for Aadhaar card when you are applying for one:
- Passport of the applicant.
- PAN card.
- Ration card or PDS Photo Card.
- Voter Identification Card.
- Driving licence
- NREGS Jobs Card.
- Photo Bank ATM Card.
- Voter identification card.
- Certificate of birth of the applicant.
People can download the form for applying for fresh Aadhaar as well as for updating details in their Aadhaar by visiting the following Aadhar card official website https://uidai.gov.in. This Aadhar card enrolment form is also available at all Aadhaar enrolment centres free of cost. Applicants have to fill the form completely and submit it along with the supporting documents to initiate the process of Aadhaar enrolment.
Aadhaar is a scheme launched by the government of India with many features to provide a unique identification number to everybody residing in India. Thus, the government has made this service free and there are no charges associated with it whatsoever. All charges, including the infrastructure, logistics and services, are borne by the government of India. However, in case you want to update details in your Aadhaar card, a charge of Rs 25 is taken from the applicant.
Know About UIDAI/Aadhaar Card Services
• You can download Aadhaar card online from the UIDAI member portal
• You can check Aadhaar status if your Aadhaar is generated after enrolment or not
• It is now easy to search an Aadhaar Enrolment Centre in your area in case you want to visit there to update your details
• If you forget/misplace your Aadhaar/Enrolment number, you can retrieve Lost UID/EID online quite easily
• You can update your Address online by visiting the UIDAI’s portal free of cost
• It is easy to verify the Aadhaar number of a resident as well through the online portal
• A resident can lock and unlock Aadhaar biometrics online as well as through the mAadhaar app
• Aadhaar-bank account linking status can be checked by an employee online
• You can track all authentication requests in the past 6 months by checking Aadhaar authentication history
• To protect your aadhaar and provide an added layer of security, you can generate or retrieve your Aadhaar Virtual ID against Aadhaar number
Indian Residents’ Details on Aadhaar Card
The Aadhaar card contains a number of details in itself. Some details are mentioned on the card whereas others are stored in Aadhaar’s database and can be accessed through proper channels.
Details mentioned on the Aadhaar Card:
- Date of Birth
- Aadhaar Number
- Residential Address
- QR code representing the Aadhaar number
Details stored on the UIDAI database:
- Iris scan
How to get/apply for the Aadhaar Card
Considering the importance of Aadhaar and its various benefits, the next question that arises is – How to get the Aadhaar card? There is a systematic protocol and a step by step process which needs to be followed to apply for an Aadhar Card.
The applicant is required to provide the necessary information at the time of Aadhar enrolment and when such data is verified, the Aadhaar card is issued. You can check the Aadhaar enrolment status online as well.
Let us have a look at the step by step application process of the Aadhar Card:
- Aadhaar Enrolment Centre– At first, if the individual wishes to apply for the Aadhar card, he needs to check for the Aadhaar Enrolment Centre. He would have to locate and then go to these Aadhaar Seva Kendras that are authorised by the UIDAI. One can locate the centre online using the portal of UIDAI. The individual is then supposed to carry his identity proof and the proof of address where he is residing when he visits the authorized centre.
- Fill the form– In the authorised centre, Aadhar Enrolment Form is available for enrolling for the card. The form is free of cost and the individual is required to fill up the entire form. This form is also available on the internet so the individual can also download the form from the internet and can easily fill it out after printing it. After filling the form, submit it at the enrolment centre in order to save time.
- Photograph and Biometric Data Collection– After the form is submitted, the process of enrolment takes place. In this method, the photograph, fingerprint scan and iris scan of the individual is taken. During the enrolment procedure, it is of utmost importance that the individual double-checks all the provided details in the form and make any rectifications if an error is found.
- Acknowledgement Slip– After enrolment, the applicant receives an acknowledgement slip that works till the time the individual receives the original Aadhar Card copy. The slip contains the enrolment number that can be used to check Aadhar status online as well as through IVR.
- Issue of Aadhaar Card– Before issuing the original Aadhar Card, all the data provided by the individual is verified through the central government agency UIDAI, and only upon proper verification, the Aadhar Card is issued to the individual.
- Dispatch of Aadhaar to the Address of the applicant– If the Aadhar verification process is successful, the applicant initially receives an SMS or a notification through e-mail. Then, in a few days’ time, the Aadhaar number gets printed on the Aadhar Card of the individual and is sent to their verified residing address through post.
Aadhaar Card Benefits/Purpose
Aadhaar number is a unique identification number that enables each individual to have a proper identity proof acceptable everywhere in the country. The Aadhar Card has many benefits that can be enjoyed by the people residing in India once they decide to enrol for the same. Though Aadhar card registration is not compulsory, still people need to apply for Aadhar card and the importance to get the card is felt by each and every one. Most of the banking schemes and income tax related forms need Aadhaar details to be furnished.
Let us have a look at the various benefits and advantages of Aadhar Card in India:
Aadhaar is an identity card accepted by all government and non-government organisations even though it is not a citizenship document. It not only has the photograph of the card holder but also contains biometric details like fingerprints and iris image. Aadhaar card also contains a QR code that can be scanned to verify whether the details mentioned in the card are correct or not.
Proof of Residence
Aadhar card contains the residential address of the card holder. It can thus be used as a proof of residence for various governmental as well as non-governmental verification processes. Aadhaar is also considered a valid proof of residence when applying for various financial products like share market investments, mutual funds, home loan, personal loan, credit card, etc. as well as for availing financial services such as filing ITR.
The government has made it compulsory for people to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar to avail subsidies under different schemes. In order to get the subsidy directly in the bank account for schemes such as Pahal, Atal Pension Yojna, kerosene subsidy, school subsidy, food subsidies and others, people have to mandatorily furnish their Aadhaar.
Aadhaar has become a key document along with PAN for opening bank account these days. These days banks need only Aadhaar card and PAN to open a bank account for the applicant. Jan Dhan accounts also need Aadhaar of the applicant. This holds true even after the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar that has partially impacted its usage as a KYC document.
The Income Tax Department has made it compulsory for taxpayers to link Aadhaar to PAN. Aadhaar would now mandatorily be required while paying income tax and filing returns otherwise the ITR application of the taxpayer would not be processed.
Almost all telecom companies provide phone connections after accepting Aadhaar as a proof of identity/address. Once Aadhaar is provided, the connection gets activated in least possible time. Also, existing customers can link their mobile numbers with their Aadhaar for re-verification even though such re-KYC can be completed using other address proof as well.
People have to provide their Aadhaar for getting a new gas connection. In case they want to avail subsidy on their present gas connection, they will have to fill the KYC form and link Aadhar with their bank account to get subsidy directly in their account under the Pahal (DBTL) scheme.
Using the Aadhar Card, you could earlier complete e-KYC for mutual fund investments as mandated by SEBI. Even though the earlier e-KYC process is no longer operational, the investment account opening process is simplified in case you have your Aadhar card.
Note: The current limit for complete e-KYC for mutual fund account is Rs 50,000 per year per fund. To override this limitation, in person biometric verification needs to be completed by the investor.