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The UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) is the statutory body responsible for handling all Aadhaar-related services in India. It was established under the Aadhaar Act of 2016 (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services). The MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) under the Government of India established the UIDAI on 12th July 2016. The Aadhaar Act of 2016 has been amended to the Aadhaar and Other Laws Act of 2019, with effect from 25-7-2019.

Before the UIDAI was established as a statutory body, it was initially functioning as an office attached to the Planning Commission (which is now known as NITI Aayog). On 12th September 2015, the government revised it to bring the UIDAI under the DeitY (Department of Electronics and Information Technology).

The UIDAI was created to issue Unique Identification Numbers (UID) popularly known as Aadhaar number to all residents of India. The UID serves to eliminate fake and duplicate identities while providing government services and service providers with an easy and cost-effective way to verify authentication.

The first UID number in India was issued way back in 2010. On 29th September 2010, a resident in the rural district of Nandurbar, Maharashtra, became the first Indian to receive a UID. As of July 2018, 1.22 billion Indians were enrolled in Aadhaar.


As per the Aadhaar Act of 2016, the UIDAI is the sole body responsible for the Aadhaar enrolment of residents and authentication. It oversees the entire Aadhaar life cycle, including operation, management, developing the various policies, implementing various procedures, and more.

Here are the major functions of the UIDAI:

  • Owning, maintaining and operating the UID database
  • It serves as a platform for residents to complete online pre-registration for Aadhaar
  • To help users check the status of their Aadhaar card using the online self-service update portal provided by UIDAI
  • It holds the responsibility for maintaining and updating the UID database regularly, based on various Aadhaar applications and updates received online as well as offline
  • Helps in implementation of the various UID schemes proposed by the government of India
  • Generating and assigning unique 12-digit identity numbers to each applicant
  • Defining the rules and methods for interlinking the database with various partners
  • Manage the operation of Aadhaar at various stages of the life cycle
  • Propose the policies for the usage of UID
  • Update the UID policies and framework regularly

  • To provide Aadhaar number to every resident of India, irrespective of their age, gender, location, etc.
  • To maintain stringent quality and minimal turnaround time for the Aadhaar application process.
  • To provide residents with an easy way to authenticate and verify their identities.
  • To serve residents efficiently, equitably and effectively.
  • To collaborate with partners and service providers in leveraging the benefits of the Aadhaar infrastructure effectively.
  • To provide a framework and platform for private and public agencies to develop applications using Aadhaar.
  • To ensure scalability, resilience and availability of the supporting technological infrastructure.
  • To build a long-term organisation that would carry forward the mission and values of UIDAI.
  • To make the UIDAI attractive, so that it can get global expertise from various fields.

  • Committing to inclusive nation-building
  • Valuing integrity
  • To strive and serve residents and service providers effectively
  • To value and establish a collaborative approach.
  • To focus on improving quality.
  • To focus on innovation.
  • To provide support to partners.
  • To focus on constant learning.
  • To keep the organisation open and transparent.

The UIDAI is headquartered in New Delhi and has eight Regional Offices at key cities across the country. UIDAI stores data in a secure and sophisticated data centres located in Manesar, a model township in Haryana and Hebbal, Bengaluru.

UIDAI has two part-time members and a CEO, who is the Member-Secretary of the organisation. The chairman position is intentionally left vacant. One of the part-time members is Dr. Anand Deshpande, the Founder, MD and Chairman of Persistent Systems. The legal representative and administrative head of the UIDAI is Sh Pankaj Kumar, IAS, who also acts as the CEO.

The CEO of UIDAI is assisted by seven DDGs (Deputy Director Generals) and joint secretaries. The DDGs are further assisted by ADGs, Deputy Directors, Section Officers and Assistant Section Officers. The total strength of the headquarters is 127 officers and other staff members.

The Regional Offices of the UIDAI are present at:

  • Bengaluru
  • Chandigarh
  • Delhi
  • Guwahati
  • Hyderabad
  • Lucknow
  • Mumbai
  • Ranchi

The Aadhaar number provides residents with a unique identity. It prevents fake and duplicate identities. It can be easily authenticated and verified anytime and from anywhere. The Government of India issued a letter on 16th December 2010, stating that the Aadhaar number issued by the UIDAI serves as a valid document for identity proof and address proof. However, you have to note that the Aadhaar was not intended to replace any of the present government-issued documents. It does not give rights to citizenship to cardholders.

  • The UID is also known as Aadhaar number.
  • It’s a 12-digit unique code issued to residents who voluntarily apply for it.
  • It never starts with zero.
  • It’s not possible to hack or steal your data using your Aadhaar number.
  • The Aadhaar number entitles residents to various government schemes like digital lockers, pension scheme benefits, e-sign, NSAP, the Universal Account Number and more.
  • Additionally, you can also use it as identity proof for availing various private services like – opening a bank account, investing in mutual funds, getting a mobile/LPG connection and more.
  • The UIDAI website makes it easy to verify the identity of an Aadhaar holder using the 12-digit identity code.
  • The Aadhaar is valid for lifetime.
  • Anyone can apply for it. There is no age restriction.
  • Children are issued with a child Aadhaar number that is blue and does not contain biometric details. Once they cross the age of five, they have to get their Aadhaar updated with biometric and other demographic details.
  • Registering for Aadhaar is user-friendly and is free of charge.

EndNote

The UIDAI Ushers in a New Era of Identification

With the Aadhaar number, the UIDAI has ushered in a sophisticated and technology-oriented method of identification and authentication for millions of Indians. Using the UIDAI website is quite easy, thanks to its easy-to-navigate layout and user-intuitiveness. According to the latest data provided by the Government of India, nearly 1.22 billion residents in India are registered for Aadhaar. As of February 2015, the government has spent 5630 crores on Aadhaar and UIDAI.

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