UIDAI is a short form of Unique Identification Authority of India. It is a central government agency of India. Its objective is to collect the biometric and demographic data of residents, store them in a centralised database, and issue a 12-digit unique identity number called Aadhar to each resident. It is considered the world’s largest national identification number project.
Unique identification project was initially conceived by the Planning Commission as an initiative that would provide identification for each resident across the country and would be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services. It would also act as a tool for effective monitoring of various programs and schemes of the Government.
UIDAI Background, Mandates, and Objectives:
- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was set up by the Government of India on 28 January 2009.
- On 25 June 2009, the Cabinet also created and approved the position of the Chairperson of the UIDAI, and appointed Mr. Nandan Nilekani as the first Chairperson in the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister.
- Mr. Ram Sewak Sharma was the Director General and Mission Director. Presently, Dr. A B P Pandey handles the position of Director General and Mission Director as well as the additional responsibilities of the Chairman.
- The UIDAI is mandated to assign a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number (termed as Aadhar) to all the residents of India.
- The UIDAI has been given the responsibility to set down plan and policies to implement UID scheme, to own and operate the UID database. They are responsible for its updation and maintenance on an ongoing basis.
- The UID number is linked to the resident’s basic demographic and biometric information such as a photograph, ten fingerprints, and two iris scans, which are stored in a centralised database.
- The UIDAI data center is located in Industrial Model Township (IMT) Manesar in Haryana state.
- The first Aadhar number was issued in September 2010.
- The Aadhar letter issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) containing details of name, address, and Aadhar number, as an officially valid document.
- Aadhar neither aims to replace any existing identity cards nor it is a recognition of citizenship. Aadhar neither confers citizenship nor it guarantees rights or benefits.
- Aadhar is a random number which never starts with a 0 or 1, and is not loaded with profiling or intelligence into identity numbers that make it insusceptible to fraud and theft.
- The Aadhar ID would also qualify for as a valid ID while availing various government services, like a LPG connection or subsidised ration or kerosene from PDS or benefits under NSAP or pension schemes, e-sign, digital locker, Universal Account Number (UAN) under EPFO and for some other services, like a SIM card or opening a bank account.
- According to the UIDAI website, any Aadhar holder or service provider can verify an Aadhar number for its genuineness through a user-friendly service of UIDAI called Aadhaar Verification Service (AVS) available on its website. Also, a resident already enrolled under National Population Register is not required to enrol again for Aadhar.
Vision of UIDAI:
- To empower residents of India with a unique identity and a digital platform to authenticate anytime, anywhere.
Core Values Of UIDAI:
- They value integrity.
- They believe in a transparent and open organization.
- They are driven by innovation and provide a platform for the startups to innovate.
- They will always focus on continuous learning and quality improvements.
Mission Statement of UIDAI:
- Encourage innovation and provide a platform for public and private agencies to develop Aadhaar linked applications.
- Collaborate with startups to setup infrastructure which provides convenience to residents for updating and authenticating their digital identity.
- Make it attractive for the best global expertise in different fields to collaborate and provide valuable insights to the UIDAI organization.
- Ensure availability, scalability, and flexibility of the technology infrastructure.