Some important things to know about Aadhaar

Aadhaar, a 12 digit random number issued by the UDAI to the residents of India based on their bio metric information, has been receiving lots of flak ever since it came into existence. Some provisions of Aadhaar were a clear breach of privacy of individuals when constitution provides right to privacy as a fundamental right. Aadhaar as a mandatory document to avail government services also received lots of criticism. However later five judge bench of Supreme Court struck down on some of the controversial provisions. Here are some important things one must know about Aadhaar.

  • Aadhaar is a strategic policy tool for social and financial inclusion, public sector delivery reforms, managing fiscal budget and to promote hassle free people centric governance.
  • Who can have Aadhaar: Every resident is entitled to obtain an aadhaar number by submitting his demographic information and bio metric information. Resident as per Act is defined as a person who has been living in India for a period of 182 days or more in the one year immediately preceding the date of application for enrollment. So, anybody whether Indian citizen or not can get an Aadhaar.
  • Is it proof of Citizenship: The Aadhaar number is a proof of identity, however, it does not confer any right of citizenship or domicile in respect of an aadhaar holder. So Aadhaar does not provide citizenship.
  • Aadhaar access to private companies: Private bodies like telecom companies, e-commerce firms, private banks and other such firms can't ask for bio-metric and other data for consumer services. So, it is not necessary to provide Aadhaar for availing bank account, SIM card or admission in schools or competitive exams. 
  • Aadhaar is mandatory for availing benefits under various government run social welfare schemes and for the PAN card.
  • Aadhaar data can not be shared with security agencies on the grounds of National security, except after pre-authorisation by an oversight committee head by Cabinet Secretary.
  • Aadhaar number is devoid of intelligence and does not profile people based on caste, religion, income, health and geography. 

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