Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to every Indian resident. It serves as a crucial identity proof, offering various advantages in different aspects of an individual’s life. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of having an Aadhaar card and how it has transformed the lives of Indian residents.
- Government Subsidies and Benefits: The Aadhaar card is linked to an individual’s bank account, allowing seamless and direct transfer of government subsidies and benefits. This system eradicates intermediaries and reduces corruption by ensuring the rightful beneficiaries receive the funds. Subsidies include LPG, kerosene, and other social security schemes such as pensions, scholarships, and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) payments.
- Opening Bank Accounts: Aadhaar has simplified the process of opening a bank account, making it easier and faster. Banks accept Aadhaar as proof of identity (POI) and proof of address (POA), reducing the need for multiple documents. Also, Aadhaar-enabled accounts offer benefits such as direct benefit transfers, simplified KYC norms, and access to government subsidies.
- Income Tax Return (ITR) Verification: Aadhaar-based e-verification of income tax returns streamlines the ITR filing process, saving time and effort. Taxpayers can quickly verify their ITR using a One Time Password (OTP) sent to their registered mobile number linked to Aadhaar, eliminating the need to send a physical copy of the ITR-V form to the Income Tax Department.
- Simplified Passport Issuance Process: Aadhaar cardholders can avail of a faster passport issuance process. With the Aadhaar card serving as both POI and POA, the documentation process is simplified, and the police verification step is expedited. In some cases, applicants can receive their passport in just ten days.
- Voter ID Card Linking: Linking Aadhaar to Voter ID cards helps eliminate fraudulent voter entries and maintain an accurate voter database. The initiative called ‘EPIC-Aadhaar Seeding’ ensures that only eligible voters participate in elections, thereby enhancing the democratic process in India.
- Access to Government Schemes: Aadhaar enables access to various government schemes, such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Atal Pension Yojana, and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. These schemes aim to provide financial security and support to various sections of the Indian population.
- Digital Locker System: Aadhaar cardholders can access the government’s digital locker system called DigiLocker. This platform allows users to securely store and access digital copies of their essential documents, such as PAN cards, driving licenses, and educational certificates.
- Universal Account Number (UAN) Activation: Aadhaar simplifies the process of activating a Universal Account Number (UAN) for Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). UAN activation enables employees to access and manage their PF accounts online, facilitating easy transfers and withdrawals.
- Mobile SIM Card Issuance: Telecom operators accept Aadhaar as a valid ID and address proof for issuing new mobile SIM cards. The e-KYC process has made SIM card activation quicker, reducing paperwork and minimizing the chances of identity theft.
- Security and Privacy: Aadhaar ensures that an individual’s personal information is secure through its robust biometric authentication system. This system helps prevent identity theft and fraud, providing an added layer of security to the cardholder.
- Senior Citizen Benefits: Aadhaar card helps senior citizens avail themselves of various benefits provided by the government, such as pensions, healthcare facilities, and discounts on public transportation. It also aids in the seamless disbursement of pension payments and the provision of affordable healthcare services under schemes like the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and Ayushman Bharat.
- Easier Access to Education: Aadhaar card is instrumental in providing access to numerous government scholarships and educational schemes. By linking Aadhaar with their educational records, students can benefit from scholarships, fee waivers, and other assistance programs to support their education.
- Jan Dhan Yojana: Aadhaar card plays a crucial role in the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), a financial inclusion program aimed at providing affordable banking services to the unbanked population. With an Aadhaar-linked bank account, individuals can receive financial support, insurance, and pension products at minimal or no cost.
- Financial Inclusion: Aadhaar has paved the way for financial inclusion in India by facilitating the opening of bank accounts for the economically weaker sections of society. It enables access to banking services, microloans, and other financial products, empowering individuals and contributing to the overall economic growth of the country.
The Aadhaar card has emerged as an essential document for Indian residents, offering a multitude of benefits and simplifying their lives. By streamlining government subsidies, improving access to financial services, and enhancing the delivery of welfare programs, Aadhaar plays a pivotal role in empowering Indian citizens and driving the country’s socio-economic development.