- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) in 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- UIDAI was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India. The UID had to be (a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and (b) verifiable and authenticable in an easy, cost-effective way.
- The Authority has issued more than 125 crore Aadhaar numbers to the residents of India.
- As per the Aadhaar Act, every individual who qualifies as a resident Indian under the Aadhar Act is eligible to get an Aadhaar card. Resident is a person, including Non-resident Indian (NRI) or Foreign nationals, who has been living in India for a period of 182 days or more in the preceding 12 months.
- Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and perform authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.
Why in News?
- Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has started a nationwide capacity-building drive to augment efficiency of thousands of Aadhaar operators across the country.
- The exercise will strengthen the ecosystem further by making the operators aware of latest changes in policies and procedures in the Aadhaar ecosystem.
- Aadhaar number is a 12-digit random number issued by the UIDAI to the residents of India after satisfying the verification process laid down by the Authority.
- Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident of India, may voluntarily enrol to obtain Aadhaar number.
- Person willing to enrol has to provide minimal demographic and biometric information during the enrolment process which is totally free of cost.
- An individual needs to enrol for Aadhaar only once and after de-duplication only one Aadhaar shall be generated, as the uniqueness is achieved through the process of demographic and biometric de-duplication.
- Aadhaar number is devoid of any intelligence and does not profile people based on caste, religion, income, health and geography.
- The Aadhaar number is a proof of identity, however, it does not confer any right of citizenship or domicile in respect of an Aadhaar number holder.
- Aadhaar identity platform enables the Government of India to directly reach residents of the country in delivery of various subsidies, benefits and services by using the resident’s Aadhaar number only.