AIR spotlight summary on “Different Aspects and Scope of Aadhaar”
Aadhaar is Government of India’s one of the most successful ICT project. It was launched in 2010 and in 2017 it has achieved a big landmark. The enrolment has crossed 111 crore out of the total population of 125 crore. Nearly 90% of the citizens have a unique ID number. It is very important because all the government facilities are being linked to Aadhaar card.
Need for Aadhaar
- The concept behind Aadhaar is to provide a digital, unique, and non duplicable biometric identity to every resident of the country. Aadhaar also provides a platform to authenticate his or her identity online anytime.
- Various studies have shown that approximately 60 to 70 percent of people did not have any credible identity and it resulted into deprivation of availing any government or private service. So Aadhaar was started to address the problem of identity. The whole process of enrolment is made simple so that everyone can enrol easily. Because of simplicity and convenience 90% of citizens have registered in a short span of time.
- Aadhaar is a permanent identity; it does not change or expire unlike the Passport or Driving License which expires after certain time period. This identity will be acceptable all across the country. According to RBI guidelines a person can open a bank account in different place other than the place of his origin through his Aadhaar card and necessary documents. A person can change his address in the Aadhaar card when he/she moves to another city or a state.
Aadhaar Data security
- Aadhaar does not collect the data about the nature of transactions or the details about the person’s income. It does not collect the details about the person’s profession, religion, assets etc. It is a misconception that Aadhaar collects all these data. It collects only the basic demographic data like name, age, address and the biometric data. Therefore the risk of breaching of data or data insecurity is not relevant.
- The income tax departments will collect data regarding the person’s income, the bank has the details about the person’s transaction and these details are not taken by Aadhaar. So Aadhaar is not the aggregator of all the data and people have misconception about this.
- Aadhaar is for the residents of India and the resident is the one who has lived in India for the last 182 days. The resident of India could be of two categories. He could be the citizen of India or could be the citizen of a foreign country who is residing in India. Aadhaar does not go into verification of citizenship. It has mentioned in the Aadhaar Act that someone having an Aadhaar card is not entitled with any citizenship right of this country.
- So far the government has spent around 7700 crores of rupees on the whole project which includes enrolling more than 111 crore people and an online Authentication infrastructure. The Aadhaar enrolment infrastructure is one of the largest in the world.
Uses of Aadhaar system
- Aadhaar is being used by many agencies both within and outside the government under the provisions of Aadhaar Act for providing various services. Aadhaar as a digital identity can help in financial inclusion and also provides banking services to those who do not have a bank account. Establishing brick and mortar or physical bank branches in every village is not economically viable. So the approach was to appoint a business correspondent who will have an ATM attached with Aadhaar Enabled Payment System. The whole system of banking transactions like withdrawal and deposit of money can be done. Today there are more than 1,65,000 business correspondents going to villages and doing these transactions.
- In the last 4 years more than 33 crore transactions have taken place and everyday more than 15 Lakh transactions are taking place through Aadhaar Enabled Payment System.