Thursday, January 16, 2014

Aadhaar cards - Something more than LPG subsidies

The latest buzz among people is about Aadhaar cards and subsidies associated with it.
Let's try to understand what Aadhaar card really is and what are its benefits.

Aadhaar provides every individual residing in India with a Unique Identification Number (UID). It is issued to individuals of any age including children and its purpose is to establish identities of people residing in India and it is NOT a citizenship card. So this means any person residing in India including foreign nationals can get an Aadhaar card. Given below are the important facts about Aadhaar.

Identity Proof: The Aadhaar Card works as the identity proof with relevant details of an individual written on the card. It acts as both identity proof as well as address proof. The only other document that acts as both identity and address proof is Passport and some driving licenses. So this prevents the need for multiple documents for the common man to prove who he is.

Eliminates Paper proofs: The data is available electronically and is exposed via APIs, this eliminates the need to copy the data on paper for logistic or storage purpose. Govt organizations and business houses can use this to identify and authenticate people. This means you can walk into a bank empty-handed and open a bank account by just telling them your Aadhar number.  A govt organizations/ bank/business house will get detailed data only if the individual allows them to do so. The authentication is validated byways such as OTP (One Time Pin), Biometric data etc. This prevents people from taking sim cards, opening bank accounts using forged documents.

Financial Inclusion: Usually the poor in the country had no identity proofs which prevented them from availing various services like PDS, bank accounts and various other benefits that demanded identity proof. Making Aadhaar number available to every Indian will make sure that the poor sections get the benefits welfare schemes they qualify too.

On the Spot Service: Aaadhar data can be accessed from handheld devices too. This means govt can distribute wages or subsidy or ration to people in a remote location directly. Aaadhaar authentication if implemented across the service delivery process/supply chain will help curb leakages and diversions, and help identify bottlenecks in delivery.

Universality: The Aadhaar card provides an individual with one identity that he can use to identify himself throughout the country. It provides the state migrants with the mobility of their identities.

Prevents Duplicity: The Aadhaar Card provides each individual with a unique identification number, which is provided by a system that is wholly computerized and centralized. The Aadhaar number is linked with biometric information of the person like the fingerprints and retinal information. This eliminates the problem of duplication.

Hope this article helped you in getting an idea about Aaadhar cards. Feel free to write to us with your thoughts and comments on this.