When you get a document issued by a Government body, you feel relieved and on top of the world. Doing it can easily be rated a few of the many tough things you may have done in your lifetime. There are more than 120 Crore Aadhaar numbers issued today. With the spree to link Aadhaar to every possible service, the 12-digit number could well be your identity for life and after-life. It is becoming a critical foundation – whether you like it or not.
What is Aadhaar?
Aadhaar is a lifelong unique 12-digit random number assigned to a resident which is verifiable online anywhere anytime using the Aadhaar authentication platform. Aadhaar authentication responds only with “yes/no” answer. The Aadhaar Scheme is primarily aimed at improving the delivery of social security benefits and subsidies, plugging leakages and wastes, eliminating fakes and duplicates and enhancing transparency and accountability.
What information does an Aadhaar card contain?
Aadhaar captures demographic information in form of name, date of birth or age, gender, address, mobile number (optional), email ID (optional) and biometric information in form of ten fingerprints, two iris scans, and facial photograph.
What can Aadhaar be used for?
Aadhaar can be used as a valid online identity proof across the country. Any service which requires a valid identity proof can be availed by showing the Aadhaar card or using the authentication / KYC services offered by UIDAI.
Where is Aadhaar asked to be linked?
While the honourable Supreme Court has indefinitely extended linkage of Aadhaar, there have been requirements to link Aadhaar to PAN, passport, all your insurance policies, all mutual funds, your mobile number, all individual bank accounts, credit cards, Ration Card, LPG connection, UAN/Provident Fund, Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), Voter ID Card and even at death.
How do you link Aadhaar to some of the key above-mentioned facilities/services/documents?
PAN: Visit the website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and click on Link Aadhaar.
Mobile Number: Visit the store with Aadhaar Card and enter details via biometric authentication or OTP authentication to update Aadhaar.
Bank Accounts: Visit the respective bank website, log in to internet banking and enter details to link. The same can be updated by visiting the respective bank’s branches with a copy of Aadhaar as per policies laid down by respective banks.
Credit Cards: Visit the card/bank website and link Aadhaar based on OTP validation over the registered mobile number.
Mutual Funds: Visit the respective mutual funds’ fund house’s website, enter the folio number, Aadhaar details, enter OTP sent on Aadhaar registered mobile number and complete the process.
Insurance Policies: Visit the respective insurance provider website, enter the policy number, Aadhaar details, enter the OTP sent on Aadhaar registered mobile number and complete the process.
Post Office Schemes: Visit the nearest India Post branch with a copy of Aadhaar and post office passbook for the respective scheme, fill up the Aadhaar linkage form and submit. Linkage will be confirmed via SMS on the number registered with Aadhaar.
How do you enroll for Aadhaar or update details and what are the basic types of Aadhaar?
You can enroll for new Aadhaar through seeking an appointment at the designated Aadhaar Enrolment Centres available on UIDAI website (Link: https://appointments.uidai.gov.in/easearch.aspx).
A blue (Baal Aadhaar) card is issued for children in age group of 0 to 5 and a regular Aadhaar is issued for citizens above 5 years of age.
Updating information on Aadhaar can be done by visiting permanent enrolment centers or self-service on UIDAI website depending on the type of update.
Some operational benefits of Aadhaar
- Linking Aadhaar to your bank account can help get a direct benefit transfer of various subsidy schemes being rolled out by the government. Please note the benefits will come into the account which has been last seeded with Aadhaar towards receipt of subsidy.
- Having an Aadhaar card can simplify account opening at banks and other entities which can accept your biometrics or iris scan or Aadhaar number and OTP authentication to fetch necessary details from Aadhaar as KYC.
- Biometric authentication for availing various services and authorising funds transfer and other activities permitted by the Bank.
- Single document which can act as a valid identity and address proof.
What may be in store for the future?
With the rapid spread of Aadhaar and the speed of update in the database the number may potentially be used for a number of things. Blue sky thinking leads to:
- You jump a traffic signal or spit on the road a challan may be raised on your basis your vehicle number plate or an offence may be registered against you by capturing your fingerprint impression
- You want to watch a movie, authenticate yourself at the counter with biometric, pay there itself and enter
- The bar would let you in only if your biometric authentication tells the bartender that you are above 18/21 (depending on where you are in India)
- Social score for you depending on the good and bad you have done to the society, registered through your biometric
- A family Aadhaar score by linking all the Aadhaar numbers and that could define your social circle 🙂
While there is still a resistance and hesitance to link Aadhaar to various things mandated, it should be noted that we already have about 120 Crore Aadhaar cards So, there is hardly an option but to embrace Aadhaar.