What is Aadhar card?

Aadhar card

Aadhar card is a 12-digit unique identity number for residents of India, based on their biometric and demographic data. It is the largest biometric program in the world. This data is collected and governed by statuary body UIADI (The Unique Identification Authority of India) established by Govt of India in 2009.

This system of identifying individuals is used by other countries in the world. For example, the USA uses the nine-digit social security number.

The aim of the program was targeted delivery of financial and other subsidies granted by the Govt. Aadhaar is considered as an ID proof and an address proof but it is not considered as Proof of Nationality of proof.

 The customer care number for Aadhaar number by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is 1947.

Eligibility for Aadhaar card

Any resident of India (new-borns/minors) is eligible for Aadhaar card. Baal Aadhaar card is issued for children below 5 years.  Foreign citizens and NRIs staying in India for more than 12 months are eligible for Aadhaar card.

Details captured for the Aadhaar card

Below details are captured when you enroll yourself to Aadhar card.

  1. Name
  2. Gender
  3. Photo
  4. Date of Birth
  5. Residential Address
  6. Fingerprints
  7. Thumbprints
  8. Iris Scan

Purpose of Aadhar card

Aadhaar is a unique identification number that enables each resident of India with the following:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Address
  • Access to Government Subsidy
  • Eligibility to open and operate Bank Accounts
  • Income Tax – Aadhaar is a mandatory requirement for processing and filing income tax returns
  • Gas Connection
  • Mobile Connection

Common Usage of Aadhar card

Govt of India uses Aadhar in many schemes as below –

  1. Direct Benefit Transfer. Aadhaar is being used by Govt of India to credit the money directly to the beneficiary account linked to Aadhaar for services like a Gas subsidy, Remittances for schemes like MGNREGA, etc.
  2. Biometric attendance systems enabled by Aadhaar– Govt is also using the Biometric ID system for capturing the attendance of the Govt of India employees.
  3. Aadhaar enabled e-KYC (Know your customer) – This is being leveraged for multiple purposes like getting a Mobile Sim or for any financial activity like Loan related to Banks. It enables paperless activity by leveraging the technology.

Aadhar Card Virtual ID and Masked Aadhar Card

Aadhar Virtual ID is a 16-digit temporary code for Aadhaar authentications. You can generate the virtual id from the following link.

You can provide the UIDAI virtual ID instead of your Aadhaar number to agencies and protect your Aadhaar details from being accessed by someone else.

This alleviates the security concerns related to Aadhaar. You can only provide the virtual id instead of Aadhaar for completing the authentication of the e-KYC services. Once the e-KYC authentication is done, you can again change the Virtual Id from the above same link.

While downloading your aadhaar card online from UIADI, you get an option to download a regular aadhaar which contains your full aadhaar number or a masked aadhaar.

In Masked Aadhaar your Aadhaar Number is not shown fully and only the last four digits of our Aadhaar would be shown on it.

Baal Aadhar Card

UIADI issues blue colored Aadhaar for children below 5 years. You will need to update the bio-metrics of the child once he attains 5 years. The second mandatory bio-metric update is required at the age of 15 and you will need to get the Aadhaar card updated. 


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