With a vision to provide a unique identity to individuals and a platform to digitally authenticate the identity anywhere and at any given point of time, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was established in January 2009. The official website of UIDAI is www.uidai.gov.in and its data centre is headquartered at Industrial Model Township(MIT), Manesar. According to the data available, till date 1,257,514,195 Aadhaar has been generated and for 40,810,314,699 Aadhaar authentication has been done.
UIDAI is an agency set up by the Central Government of India to collect demographic and biometric data of the residents such as their photograph, fingerprints, and iris scans and storing them at a centralized place. UIDAI issues a 12 digit unique number called Aadhaar. It’s the world’s largest project for National Identification Number.
The original legislation of March 2016 for UIDAI is still pending in the Parliament. However, another money bill was introduced in the Parliament on 3rd March 2016 for the same. On March 11 2016, Aadhaar Act was passed in the Lok Sabha. On March 26th 2016, the act was notified as Gazette of India.
On September 23rd 2013, the Supreme Court of India under the interim order that an individual should not suffer if he does not have an Aadhaar. Since the Government of India does not hold any right to deny any service to residents of India, it is not a mandatory but a voluntary document. Wherein another interim issued on August 11th 2015 by Supreme Court ruled that Aadhaar or UIDAI should be used only for PDS, LPG and kerosene distribution but still made it clear that for availing any of these services, Aadhar card will not be mandatory.
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Functions of the UIDAI
As notified, UIDAI plans and implements various Unique Identification (UID) schemes and policies. Some of these are mentioned below:
- Owning and operating the database of UID
- To serve as a platform for residents for online pre-registration of Aadhaar
- To allow users to check their Aadhaar card status using UIDAI’s platform
- Taking the responsibility of maintaining and updating it on a constant basis depending on the Aadhaar applications received online or offline
- Implementation of the UID schemes
- Generating and assigning UID to the people
- Defining the mechanism and interlinking it with the databases of partners
- Managing and operating all the UID’s life cycle stages
- Framing the policies and operation of the UID mechanism
- Updating and describing the usage and application of UID for the various other services
Mission of the UIDAI
The UIDAI was established with a Mission to:
- The UIDAI was established with a Mission to:
- To deliver Aadhaar to every Indian resident, and to have stringent quality matrices and turnaround time
- To collaborate with all partners and give a convincing infrastructure to residents to authenticate and update their digital identity
- To serve residents equitably, efficiently and effectively by collaborating with the service provider in leveraging the Aadhaar
- To provide a platform to encourage private agencies and public ones to develop applications linked with Aadhaar
- To ensure resilience, scalability and availability of technological infrastructure
- To build a long-term organization, this would sustain and carry forward values and vision of UIDAI
- To make it as attractive as possible so that the best global expertise of different fields collaborate to give the most valuable insight to UIDAI organization
Objectives of UIDAI
UIDAI issues a 12-digit unique identification number to the residents of India with the objective of:
- Provide a unique identity to all the citizens
- To verify and provide authenticate identity effectively
Core Values of UIDAI
The core values of UIDAI are mentioned below:
- To facilitate good governance
- Valuing integrity
- Committing to building the nation inclusively
- To value and establish a collaborative approach
- To strive for and serve residents and service providers efficiently
- To make a constant effort for learning and to focus on improving the quality
- To consistently drive towards innovation and provide a similar platform to partners
- To make the organisation transparent and open
Aadhaar number was made to give a unique identity to residents that would prevent fake and duplicate identities which can be authenticated and verified anywhere and anytime online. On the 16th of December 2010, the Government of India notified a letter stating the name, address and the Aadhaar number issued by the UIDAI as a valid document. However, it cannot replace any form of the present identity documents, nor does it give the cognizance to citizenship in any way.
The Aadhaar number will never start with zero or one and it has many such intelligence features so that nobody can practise identity theft or fraud with it. This unique identity somehow entitles them to various government schemes such as benefits of e-sign, digital lockers, NSAP, pension schemes, the Universal Account Number under the EPFO and some other services like opening a bank account or getting a SIM for mobile connection. As per the UIDAI website, the Aadhaar cardholder or the service provider through the Aadhaar verification service offered on the website can check the credentials linked with the Aadhaar number. The service offered is very user-friendly. In addition, residents who have registered for the national population do not require registering for Aadhaar again.
Services Offered by UIDAI
Following services are offered by UIDAI:
- Locating an Aadhaar Enrolment Centre
- Verification of Aadhaar Number
- To check Aadhaar Status
- Check Aadhaar and Bank Linking Status
- Verification of mobile and email address
- Helps to retrieve lost or forgotten UID/EID
- Downloading Aadhaar
- Lock/Unlock Biometrics
- Aadhaar Paperless Offline e-KYC beta
- Generation of Virtual ID
- Update Address Online
- Check Aadhaar Card Status
- View Update History
- Request for an address validation letter
- Aadhaar Card Correction Form
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Enrolling and Updating Ecosystems
UIDAI has a registrar for the purpose of enrolling individuals for Aadhaar and is the partner to UIDAI vide an MoU. They are also responsible for following the roles and responsibilities assigned to them. They collect all the data actively from the individuals. These registrars carry all the enrolment process by themselves or via enrolment agencies contracted by them.
The enrolment agency authorised by the registrar collects the biometric and demographic data of individuals throughout the enrolment process with the help of assigned supervisors and operators. These agencies are also responsible for setting up the enrolment centres of the applicants and for correction/update of data as well. They need to monitor all the field activities, need to ensure that data related to residents are sent to CIDR on time, etc.
According to the guidance of the registrar and enrolment agencies, the Aadhaar Seva Kendra is set up so that the individual can enrol with UIDAI to get Aadhaar. All the equipment such as iris scanner, fingerprint scanner and camera which are used by the enrolment agencies are certified by UIDAI and STQC and all of them work in coordination to connect to the Application Programming Interphase. All of the enrollers, registrar and service providers coordinate amongst themselves to create a healthy environment for them to work.
Enrolment Agencies appoints the operators for enrolling the residents and taking the demographic information as provided in the form and also to capture all the information relating to biometrics via enrolment software. They are responsible for collecting the physical/ electronic copy of the supporting documents which can also be converted into the electronic format.
However, the operators are in charge of the enrolment process whereas the supervisors appointed are required to manage the centre. They need to ensure data quality, adherence to process, etc.
Content Development Agencies (CDAs)
To provide the training materials for operators and supervisors, UIDAI engages all the development agencies. These agencies make use of the documents and new client releases for creating various training materials inclusive of online training materials that are available on the UIDAI website.
Testing & Certification Agencies (TCAs)
For certifying new operators and supervisors UIDAI engages various Testing and Certification Agencies. Any operator/Supervisor who has been trained and has been issued an Aadhaar can take this test.
Biometric Device Certification
To carry out specifications and certification activities for enrolment and authentication devices requirements for UIDAI, STQC (Standardization Testing and Quality Certification) Directorate, an attached office of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), the nodal agency is appointed by the Government of India. All the device-related specifications are performed on STQC website and the ones which are extensive are carried out at it’s Labs at Mohali and New Delhi. They are more equipped to certify biometric devices.
Authenticating the Ecosystems
A scalable ecosystem has been set up by UIDAI for the authentication of the resident instantly. The ecosystem authentication of the Aadhaar is capable of doing millions of verifications daily and even further enhancing to cope up with the demand. The UIDAI has appointed various Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) and Authenticating Service Agencies (ASAs) for numerous non-government and government organizations. Since most of the authentication is done online, UIDAI has established two data centres where authentication and other services are done online such as e-KYC can be deployed to ensure optimum availability. Banks and other payment network operations have made the authentication of Aadhaar at micro-ATMs simpler with a vent to provide branchless banking anywhere within the country in real-time and with interoperability.
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UIDAI Financial Division
The financial division of the UIDAI is responsible for the formulation, outcome, and performance of Budget, Cash Management and Expenditure and screening the proposal that involves financial implication. The various advising done by the financial division of UIDAI are-
- Advising on financial power delegation
- Advising the EFC/SFC and cabinet on the estimated cost and revising the cost proposal
- Association and formulating activities for appreciation of financial implications
- Evaluation and appraisal of proposal of rules and regulations with due diligence and operational requirements’ by the perspective
- By internally controlling the Procurement Manual for ‘Due Diligence’ and also the compliance of regulations, rules and guidelines set forth by the Ministry of finance in accordance with various procurement and contracts
- Helping in preparations of budget and to estimate revising them and the various grants that are supplementary
- Even monitoring the work of Pay and Accounts Office
- Allocating the budget between the Headquarters’ functional division and Regional offices.
- Internal Audit and compliance follow-up
- Doing the finalization and issuing Repost of Internal Audit to the concerned Regional Office/Tech centre and Divisions