What is Aadhaar card and where is it mandatory?

On March 27, the Supreme Court ordered that the government cannot be stopped from using Aadhaar identification for its non-welfare schemes like opening of bank accounts, filing of tax returns, verification of new and existing mobile phone numbers and user credentials etc.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Updated: March 27, 2017 4:41 pm
UIDAI, unique identification authority of india, aadhaar, aadhaar biometrics, misuse of aadhaar biometrics, india news, indian express Aadhaar card (Representational image)

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued to Indian citizens by the Central government. It is issued and managed by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Aadhaar card is essentially an identification document issued by the UIDAI after it records and verifies every resident Indian citizen’s details including biometric and demographic data. Aadhaar is not meant to replace existing identification documents like PAN, passport, driving license etc. However, it can be used as a single identification document. Banks, financial institutions and telecom companies can also use it as a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification mode and maintain profiles.

On March 27, the Supreme Court ordered that the government cannot be stopped from using Aadhaar identification for its non-welfare schemes like opening of bank accounts, filing of tax returns, verification of new and existing mobile phone numbers and user credentials etc. However, it did maintain that the government cannot make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes and it has allowed the government to use it in some schemes, not permitted to be used as a mandatory requirement.

Here is a list of recent announcements by the government where Aadhaar was made mandatory (both welfare and non-welfare schemes feature in the list):

Beedi/Iron Ore/limestone workers need Aadhaar for availing house subsidy.

Aadhaar mandatory for supplementary nutrition program. Deadline to register to avail benefits is March 31.

Aadhaar compulsory for farmers wanting to take crop insurance benefit and people eligible for subsidised foodgrains/cash subsidy for the same. People need to register by March 31.

People wishing to avail benefits of welfare schemes under Integrated Department of Horticulture, National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme and Janani Suraksha Yojana need mandatory Aadhaar.

Aadhaar made mandatory to avail training under Integrated Child Development Services of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Deadline to register is June 30.

Aadhaar mandatory for benefits under Grih Kalyan Kendra scheme and the deadline set for registration is June 30.

Aadhaar made mandatory for financial support under National Mission for Empowerment of Women. Same condition imposed for Scheme for Adolescent Women, students to avail Central scholarship and financial support given under National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship. Deadline for registration is March 31.

Aadhaar mandatory for e-panchayat training benefits and students who wish to avail central scholarships at the college level. Deadline to register is June 30.

Soil Health Management Scheme and Soil Health Card Scheme require Aadhaar. Deadline is March 31.

Supplementary meals at creches require Aadhaar. Deadline to register is March 31.

Maternity Benefit Programme and Integrated Child Protection Scheme make Aadhaar mandatory. Deadline to register is March 31.

Aadhaar made mandatory for women to avail vocational training, loans and other schemes.

Benefits for water and social services also come under the ambit of Aadhaar. Benefits under Research and Development in Water Sector and National Social Assistance Program announce Aadhaar as mandatory document. Deadline set is March 31 and April 1, respectively.

Mid Day meal benefits require Aadhaar. Cooks-cum-helpers earning out of the scheme must also register with Aadhaar. Deadline set is June 30. Deendayal Antyodya Yojana and National Rural Livelihoods Mission also make Aadhaar mandatory.

Aadhaar now mandatory for disabled children between 6-14 years and are eligible for benefits under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Deadline to register is June 30. Aadhaar also made mandatory to book tickets on Indian Railways’ online ticket booking platform at IRCTC.

Disabled students taking benefits under National Action Plan for Skill Training of Persons with Disabilities must register by June 30. Aadhaar also made mandatory for availing benefits under National Health Mission by trained female community health activist ASHA or Accredited Social Health Activist.

Bhopal gas tragedy victims need Aadhar to avail compensation from government. Deadline set is June 30. National Awards Scheme for Technology Innovation in Petrochemicals and Downstream Plastics Processing Industry makes Aadhaar mandatory. Deadline for registration is March 31. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana for women below poverty line requires Aadhaar (deadline set May 31). It is also made mandatory for compensation and benefits to people under Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Scheme. Deadline set is June 30.

Aadhaar made mandatory to file Income Tax returns or applying for PAN. PAN will also need to be linked to Aadhaar. Any PAN card which is not linked to Aadhaar will become redundant after June 30.

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  1. Kenneth Johnson
    Jan 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm
    Its not the aadhar system that is scary but the control one person or the government will have on each citizen of India. Aadhar may be used to block out any Indian Citizen who may voice his or her opinion about any person in authority by removing his status as a human being. In simple terms he/she will be delinked from the country''s data base and he or she may not be able to buy food / clothing or shelter. Much worse he or she may not even exist in the system database!!! How scary is that???
    1. J
      Jeevan Karkera
      Nov 12, 2017 at 8:01 am
      Mr. Modi has become a big headache for Mamta Banerjee, Lalu Yadav, Chidambaram and many more who worked very very hard for poor.
      1. S
        S ABBASI
        Oct 26, 2017 at 1:27 pm
        is there any necessary be a indian for making the aadhar card
        1. Kenneth Johnson
          Jan 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm
          The Americans love it
        2. R
          Oct 9, 2017 at 10:11 am
          A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
          1. R
            Nov 10, 2017 at 3:26 pm
            If the biometric details of a person are COMPROMISED ONCE, then even a new Aadhaar card will not help the person concerned. This is NOT like blocking an ATM card and taking a new one.
          2. R
            Sep 25, 2017 at 9:59 pm
            The Supreme Court is yet to take a decision on the validity of Aadhaar and whether the State can compulsorily link Aadhaar to various programs and all financial transactions. On 24 August 2017, a nine-judge Consti-tution Bench of the Supreme Court ruled against the Central Government to declare that privacy is a fundamental right under the Consti-tution of India. The Supreme Court is set to hear peti-tions challenging the validity and other aspects of Aadhaar in the first week of November this year. So just wait for the verdict.
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