Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident (not necessarily citizen) of India. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UDAI), constituted in the year 2009, is responsible for managing Aadhar project.
The Aadhaar project aims to build a single database containing information about every resident Indian irrespective of age. A resident Indian can apply for the Aadhaar number and card by submitting the existing proof of identity (passport, PAN card, driving license, etc.), proof of address (phone/ power bill, bank statements, etc.) and by undergoing biometric profiling (fingerprints and iris scan) at any Aadhaar centre.
The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016 is popularly called Aadhar act. The act gave legal backing to the Aadhaar unique identification number project. The salient features of the act are:
1. A person who is resident of India can obtain Aadhar card by submitting his demographic and biometric information.
2. Authorises government to use Aadhar for purpose of identifying the beneficiaries of various schemes.
3. Proposes strict penalty for disclosing personal information such as biometric information.
4. Information is to be stored in the Central Database Repository.Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to take all steps to ensure confidentiality of information.
5. In case of need of data on issue of national security, an officer not below the rank of joint secretary can authorise access of data.
6. Oversight committee, headed by the Cabinet secretary, to review each decision before the information is disclosed.