The Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) through biometric profiling of an Indian resident.
The Aadhaar number serves as a basis for Know Your Customer (KYC) norms in banks and financial institutions, telecom services, and a host of other institutions. It is, therefore, essential for every Indian to have an Aadhaar card.
Here are ten things about Aadhaar that you must know:
1. Only Indian citizens can have an Aadhaar number or UID. Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) or Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are not eligible for an Aadhaar card.
2. An Indian citizen can enrol for Aadhaar at any age. This means infants and the elderly can have an Aadhaar number too. Children below the age of 5, with a valid Aadhaar card, will have to renew their Aadhaar card once they complete 5 years, with updated biometric details (fingerprint scan and iris). Else, the ‘Baal Aadhaar’ issued earlier becomes invalid.
3. An Indian citizen can apply for Aadhaar by submitting a valid proof of address, identity and undergoing biometric profiling.
Additional read: Can you use your E-Aadhaar card as proof of identity?
4. Those with ill-defined fingerprints or missing biometrics can also enrol for Aadhaar.
5. There are provisions for those with eye ailments, including partial or complete blindness, to enrol for Aadhaar.
6. A family member, who may not have individual valid documents, can also enrol for Aadhaar.
7. Aadhaar is mandatory for several significant transactions, such as opening a bank account, investing in government-linked schemes filing income tax returns, applying PAN card and passport, and an Employee Provident Fund account. Students, too, can apply for central scholarships by providing their Aadhaar numbers.
8. The UIDAI has cautioned against sharing Aadhaar details without any valid reason to avoid misuse.
9. Aadhaar cardholders can download a digital copy of their Aadhaar card from the UIDAI website. If you are downloading your Aadhaar at a public machine, make sure you delete the document and your browsing history before you log out. This is essential to prevent misuse of your Aadhaar.
Additional read: A guide to help you understand your E-Aadhaar card better
10. As an Aadhaar holder, you can also use several online tools such as checking Aadhaar enrolment status, updating an address on your Aadhaar card, receiving your Aadhaar number on your registered mobile number, and locking or unlocking biometric details associated with your Aadhaar.
The Aadhaar is an attempt to have a single unique identification document to benefit Indian citizens in many ways, including the easy transmission of Government-led subsidies. Unlocking its potential while protecting it at all times can bring you a host of benefits.
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