What is eAADHAR - Let's talk - I would love to live in a free world. Where I would go to work in the morning in my country and have lunch and dinner in two other separate countries consecutively, without time limit, proof of documents or even consulting with the embassy. But to my detriment, I will never find that haven because all countries in the world have rules, constitutions and laws that all its citizens; birth or registered are expected to adhere to. In most countries, when teenagers attain the age of sixteen or eighteen they are considered adults. Thus they are given identification cards as a formality to carry them throughout their lives and attest to this fact. Currently in India, it’s called the eAadhaar.
In layman’s language, Aadhar means support or foundation. India has started the Aadhar project to ensure all its citizens are issued with Aadhar identification cards. The Aadhar number is a unique twelve to sixteen digit individual identification number issued by the unique identification authority of India (UIDIA). UIDIA was first established by the commission of planning as a body that will ensure identification is provided for each and every citizen across the country and would be majorly used as a the basis of delivery of welfare services to the needy. It would also help in the effective monitoring of various government schemes and programmes.
The eAadhar number is very important because it facilitates services like phone connections, banking and other non-government services. As mandatory as it is, not everybody is not aware of how to apply for the eAadhar identification thus user education awareness is created. In order to apply, a resident has to go to the enrolling agency to fill an application form. When enrolling, supporting documents are very significant because they are required by the UIDAI. The data is then sent to the agency’s registrar who will pass it on to the UID database. From there, it undergoes de-duplication process where they find out if the applicant is not registered on other projects rather than an eAadhar, then their ID number will be issued. This number is hence forwarded to the registrar for future use.
The registrar scans the supporting documents and sends them to the UIDIA but keeps the physical copies to themselves. For an application to be considered valid, the resident must submit; their name, date of birth, gender, father’s, husband’s ,guardian’s or mother’s name and UID number which is optional for adult residents; their addresses, ten fingerprints, photographs and both in scans.
The logo for eAadhar has a sign in yellow and a fingerprint in the centre. It was designed by Atul Sudhakrrao Pande, a Mumbai resident. One major significance of the Aadhaar is that it eliminates fake identities. But as they say, every good thing has its shortcoming and every coin has two sides; some say the Aadhar is a new threat to piracy of the public’s lives in India. All the same, as we know, freedom of choice and expression is a human right and every human is entitled to be for or against the eAadhaar.
I would prefer for, because it will obviously curb identity theft and fraud, address rigged spread elections and address illegal immigration into India plus terrorist threats. In fact, a law should be passed against those who think having Aadhaar identity is not essential. But then again, it’s all about government and as we all know; the government makes decisions in the best interests of its citizens. Thus all should embrace this new eAadhaar era considering how easier it has made life, unlike before.
THE eAADHAR PROJECT
By now, most of the Indians know that Aadhaar is a twelve to sixteen digit identification number issued by the unique identification authority of India (UIDIA) on behalf of the Indian government and they also know, the eAadhaar serves as a proof of identity and address Anywhere in India which any individual, irrespective of age or gender satisfies the verification processes laid down by UIDIA can freely enroll for the eAadhaar.
The eAadhar project has a main aim of ensuring every Indian resident has an eAadhaar issued by the UIDIA. Before any project is put into action, estimates of everything it requires and budget is made. Initially, the project was supposed to start in November 2010 for its first phase, creating a hundred thousand job opportunities and presumably to be complete I by May 15th to the end of July 2010 in India. The project was to revolve round data collected during survey operations. The UIDAI, headed by Nandan Nilekeni was set up under the planning commission for the implementation of the eAadhaar project.
In other estimates, the project cost is approximately 150,000 crore which is approximately six billion if converted to US dollars. A well wisher, who was the minister of finance, Dr. Pranab Mukherjee allocated the project a grant by offering it 1,900 crore, again if converted to US dollars is 385.32 million. 100 crore was to be used to fund the agency while 6,500 crore was to implement over the first three years.
The first stage of the project would be implementation i.e. house listing and house survey for forty five days. From this it will be achievable to issue citizens with their UID six months after the first stage of the survey is complete. Since Aadhar will be formed on the basis of biometric database, the data collected in the first round of the survey will help forming the database and provide the country’s first ever national popular register (NPR).
The NPR comprises of all data collected regarding census of the citizens at a particular time, for a particular duration. Although the census happens once in ten years, the UID will continue changing. The UIDAI first launched the eAadhaar program in Temblili village in Shahada, Nandurbar, maharastra on 29th September and our Nobel citizen who was the first to receive the eAadhar card, was the ‘great ’Rajana Sonawane of Temblili. The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The Aadhaar project has numerous benefits inclusive of decrease in requirements of multiple documentary proofs of identity; the eAadhar ‘says it all!!’ The project also ensures food handouts to the poor since it is based on allowing those with UID undisputed voting and vouching for those poor families who they think deserve assistance. Thus, the most voted for family is helped out by the project enhancing opportunities of government schemes for the poor. Besides that, it helps in issuing licenses and passports.
On the contrary, the eAadhaar project is not perfect thus its possible shortcomings cannot be wished away. NPR is not an exclusive database for all Indian citizens because they use data collected by the census. Apart from that, biometrics database is an unreliable way to collect and manage data because.
Research shows that it has .01% and errors and Aadhar is dependent on biometrics which does not have any one to one correspondence between real people. Most importantly, the UK and Holland has suspended its plan to register people using biometrics for obvious reasons; India may be the last to use the system.
On the bright side, the eAadhaar will be devoid of any classification based on creed, caste, religion and geography. Looking at it in all perspectives, a lot of time, finances, effort and determination have been put into the project and the least every citizen can do is to give the project unreserved co-operation and help in whatever capacity, but before anything else; first they should get their Aadhar identifications simply because charity begins at home.