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The introduction of the Aadhaar Card by the Government of India has been quite debated since day one. From its utility to accessibility and data safety to privacy concerns, the acceptance of Aadhaar Card as a mandatory identification proof has been confusing. The courts in different parts of the country have passed many rulings on the necessity of having an Aadhaar card or linking it to your personal documents. Aadhaar works as a single identity proof for the citizens and residents of India and helps in smooth integration of information for providing government services and security of your identity. Aadhaar Card is treated as a legal instrument for most government transactions and hence, has gained much importance in day to day activities. The demographic and biometric information that is fed into this identity card is immensely helpful.

The necessity of having an Aadhaar Card by every Indian has been going back and forth in the Supreme Court. Resistance to the concept of Single Identity Proof has been primarily backed by the lack of strong digital security in the personal information to be provided for getting an Aadhaar Card. This can be misused to a great extent if fallen into the wrong hands. However, on the other side, the utility and importance of having a single identity proof, similar to other developed countries cannot be ignored.

In a ruling by the Supreme Court of India, it is not mandatory to have an Aadhaar Card in your name as of today. The Government wants to make the card mandatory for various essential services like filing IT returns, opening a bank account, taking a mobile number and so on. This has been put on hold for the time-being as per the latest ruling by the court.

However, Aadhaar Card has been made compulsory to make use of various Government Schemes so that fraudulent cases and corruption can be arrested. If one needs to take advantage of any such schemes, Aadhaar Card is mandatory as it provides legitimacy to the identity. Aadhaar Card is provided by the Government of India through appointed agencies at the grassroot levels and hence, requires minimal verification. If Aadhaar Card is provided, people will enjoy the benefits of subsidies directly into their bank accounts. This makes the process quicker and more accurate.

As per Government statistics circulated in the media, UIDAI has issued nearly 123 crore Aadhaar Cards as of November 2018. One can easily deduct the fact that more cards have to be issued to cover the population of the country. The process of obtaining an Aadhaar Card has been clearly laid out by the Government and local agencies have been set up to assist with it.

The Government of India has laid out the process of applying for an Aadhaar Card clearly. One can follow the steps given below and go through a hassle-free experience of applying for this unique 12-digit number.

1. Find your nearest Aadhaar Enrolment Centre

Aadhaar Enrolment Centres have been listed on the official website of UIDAI. One can find the nearest centre to your residence by entering information on the State, Pin code and Search Box. The list shows all centres near your location including the temporary and permanent ones.

2. Visit the Aadhaar Enrolment Centre with required documents

One needs to visit the Aadhaar Enrolment Centre with the following documents to submit an application:

  • ID proof like passport, voter’s ID, driving license etc.
  • Address proof like passport, PAN card, water/electricity bill etc.
  • If you do not possess any of the above documents, you can approach an Introducer at the Aadhaar Enrolment Centre. The Introducer has been appointed by the Registrar and has a valid Aadhaar number.

More documents may be required which can be sourced at the official UIDAI website.

3. Enrol for Aadhaar Card

  • At the Aadhaar Enrolment Centre, one needs to complete the following:
  • Submit the duly filled application form along with the above-mentioned documents.
  • This includes providing demographic data about yourself – name, date of birth, gender, and mobile number.
  • Biometric information like iris scan and fingerprints of all 10 fingers will be taken.
  • Children below the age of 5 years need not mandatorily have an Aadhaar Card. This is applied through the parents’ card.
  • After submission of the above details, an acknowledgement receipt is given. With the enrolment number, one can track the progress of the Aadhaar Card online. If you have lost the Enrolment ID number, it can be retrieved from the UIDAI website.

The average processing time for an Aadhaar Card is 60 to 90 days.

While the complete utility of Aadhaar Card is still under debate, the unique identification number is mandatory in the following cases:

  • Aadhaar Card is mandatory for farmers to take crop insurance benefits and subsidized food grains.
  • The card is mandatory for availing benefits of Soil Health Card scheme and Soil Health Management scheme.
  • House subsidy for iron ore/limestone workers will be given on the basis of Aadhaar card.
  • Aadhaar Card is required for those who wish to undertake training on the Integrated Child Development Services under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • If anyone wants to avail the benefit of supplementary nutrition programs, Aadhaar Card is mandatory.
  • The benefits of Grih Kalyan Kendra Scheme will be passed on only if Aadhaar Card is produced.
  • The National Mission for Empowerment of Women has made it compulsory to have an Aadhaar Card for receiving financial support.
  • Maternity benefit programs and Integrated Child Protection Scheme require Aadhaar Card.
  • Women who would like to take up vocational training, loans and related schemes need to have an Aadhaar Card.
  • Disabled children in the age group of 6 to 14 years mandatorily require Aadhaar Card to avail benefits under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
  • The Aadhaar Card is compulsory for those seeking e-panchayat training benefits and for all students who want to receive scholarship at the college level.
  • The victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy need to have Aadhaar Card to receive support benefits from the Government.
  • Aadhaar Card is mandatory for those filing IT returns.
  • The Aadhaar Card is a mandatory document for those applying for a fresh PAN Card.

1. How can I apply for an Aadhaar Card?

One needs to visit the nearest Aadhaar Enrolment Centre with the required documents to apply for an Aadhaar Card.

2. Is Aadhaar Card Mandatory for every Indian citizen?

As per the latest ruling by the Supreme Court of India, it is not mandatory yet to have an Aadhaar Card as a valid ID proof. While the Government insists on having the document for various transactions, it is not mandatory to have it for now.

3. Is it compulsory to link your bank account with an Aadhaar Card?

While it is not mandatory to link your bank account with Aadhaar Card as per Supreme Court ruling, one can transfer money using Aadhaar Number if it is linked.

4. Can one file IT returns without having an Aadhaar Card?

No, as per recent announcements, it is mandatory to have an Aadhaar Card for filing your IT returns.

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