21 Facts You May Not Know About Aadhar

1. What is UIDAI?

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under under Section 11 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Prior to its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog). Later, on 12 September 2015, the Government revised the Allocation of Business Rules to attach the UIDAI to the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) of the then Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

2. What is ‘Aadhaar’?

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) was passed by the Parliament on 16th March 2016 and notified in the Gazette of India on 26th March 2016.

UIDAI was created with the objective to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India that is:

(a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and

(b) can be verified and authenticated in an easy, cost-effective way.

3. What is ‘Aadhar Number’?

“Aadhaar number” means an identification number issued to an individual.

Aadhaar number is a random number and bear no relation to the attributes
or the identity of the Aadhaar number holder.  

The UID number has 12 digits (numbers only). The first 11 digits are random and the twelfth digit is a checksum (uses Verhoeff’s algorithm) of the preceding 11 digits.

An Aadhaar number, in a physical or electronic form subject to authentication and
other conditions may be accepted as proof of identity of the Aadhaar number holder for any purpose.

An Aadhaar number, issued to an individual shall not be re-assigned to any
other individual.

4. What is “Biometric information”?

“Biometric information” means a photograph, fingerprint, iris scan, or such other biological attributes of an individual.

Section 30 of Aadhar Act 2016 has classified biometric information as “electronic record” and “sensitive personal data or information”.

As per the provision of the aforementioned section, the Information Technology Act, 2000 also applies to the biometric information.

Aadhaar number holders can secure their biometric authentication by locking their biometrics. Once locked, same cannot be used by anyone for authentication. Residents can unlock their biometrics before any biometric authentications transaction.

5. What is “Core Biometric Information”?

“Core biometric information” means fingerprint, iris scan, or such other biological attribute of an individual as may be specified by regulations.

Section 29, sub-section(1) states-

No core biometric information, collected or created under this Act, shall be—
(a) shared with anyone for any reason whatsoever; or
(b) used for any purpose other than generation of Aadhaar numbers and authentication under this Act.

An individual, who has the Aadhar number assigned, too cannot access the core biometric information. 

6. What is “demographic information”?

“Demographic information” includes information relating to the name, date of birth, address and other relevant information of an individual, as may be specified by regulations for the purpose of issuing an Aadhaar number, but shall not include race, religion, caste, tribe, ethnicity, language, records of entitlement, income or medical history.

7. What is “identity information”?

“Identity information” in respect of an individual, includes his Aadhaar number, his biometric information and his demographic information.

An Aadhaar number holder may request the Authority to provide access to his identity information excluding his core biometric information.

8. What is Central Identities Data Repository?

“Central Identities Data Repository” means a centralized database in one or more locations containing all Aadhaar numbers issued to Aadhaar number holders along with the corresponding demographic information and biometric information of such individuals and other information related thereto;

9. What does UIDAI database contain?

UIDAI database has the following information of an Aadhar holder–

(a) name, address, gender, date of birth

(b) 10 fingerprints, 2 IRIS scans, facial photograph

(c) Mobile number and email ID

UIDAI does not collect information about the family, caste, religion, education, bank accounts, shares, mutual funds, financial and property details, health records etc. and will never have these information in its database.

Section 32(3) of the Aadhaar Act 2016 specifically prohibits UIDAI from controlling, collecting, keeping or maintaining any information about the purpose of authentication either by itself or through any entity.

10.  How is UIDAI verify an individual’s identity using Aadhar online?

Aadhaar is essentially a paperless online anytime-anywhere identity assigned to a resident to cover his/her entire lifetime.

The verification of his identity is done online with the help of authentication devices which connect to UIDAI’s Central Identity Repository and return only a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response to the basic query-“Is the person who he/she claims to be?” based on the data available with UIDAI.

11. When was the first UID number or ‘Aadhar’ issued?

The first UID number was issued on 29 September 2010 to a resident of Nandurbar, Maharashtra.

The Authority has so far issued more than 111 crore Aadhaar numbers to the residents of India.

 

12. Is it mandatory to link PAN with Aadhar?

Yes, the Income Tax Act was amended in March 2017 to make Aadhaar mandatory for PAN cards.

13. Is it mandatory to link Bank account with Aadhar?

Yes, on June 1, 2017, PML Rules have been amended to make Aadhaar mandatory for linking all bank accounts, insurance, pension, mutual funds, DMAT accounts.

Supreme Court too in Lokniti Foundation case through an order passed in Feb. 2017 has approved verification of all SIM cards with Aadhaar.

14. What is Section 7 of Aadhar Act 2016?

Section 7 of Aadhar Act 2016 states that a person cannot be denied rations or pensions or such other entitlements if he/she does not has an Aadhaar number. The concerned department should verify the identity of the person using alternate means of identification as per the relevant notification.

An individual to whom no Aadhaar number has been assigned, such individual should make an application for enrolment.

15. Where is the headquarter of UIDAI?

The head office of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is in New Delhi.

16. Who is the Chairperson of UIDAI?

Shri J Satyanarayana, IAS Retd. (1977, AP cadre) is the part-time Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

17. Who is the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of UIDAI?

Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey is the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India UIDAI and has been steering Aadhaar in India since its beginning in 2010.

18. The age limit if UIADAI Chairperson and its members?

Sixty-five years

19. Who can audit the accounts of the UIDAI?

The Comptroller and Auditor-General of India and any person appointed by him.

20. What is the penalty for impersonating under Aadhar Act 2016?

Section 34 of the Act directs that whoever impersonates or attempts to impersonate another person, whether dead or alive, real or imaginary, by providing any false demographic information or biometric information, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with a fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

21. What is  Blue Color Aadhaar (Namely Bal Aadhaar)?

Blue Color Aadhaar (Namely Bal Aadhaar) is for children with age range between 0 to 5 Years. After attaining the age of 5 years, this Aadhaar become Invalid and the child should get his/her demographic and biometric details updated against same Aadhaar Number by visiting nearest Enrolment Centre. Else the Aadhaar will become invalid.

References:

  1. What is the structure of one’s Aadhar Card (UID) number?
  2. Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016
  3. About UIDAI
  4. Have a question on Aadhaar? Here are the top 5 FAQs
  5. Composition of UIDAI Authority
  6. FAQs, uidai.gov.in

Do you know any other relevant information about Aadhar/UIDAI? Please share it in the comment section below.

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