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Aadhaar is a 12 digit individual identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Government of India. This number is linked to the basic demographics and biometric information – photograph, ten fingerprints and iris – of each enrolled resident.
This number will be a proof of identity and address anywhere in India. Any resident of India, irrespective of age and gender, can apply for an Aadhaar number, after the due verification processes defined by the Unique Identification Authority of India.
Aadhaar would give any resident the ability to access these services and resources, anytime, anywhere in the country.
Aadhaar can, for example, provide the identity infrastructure for ensuring financial inclusion across the country – banks can link the unique number to a bank account for every resident, and use the online identity authentication to allow residents to access the account from anywhere in the country.
Aadhaar would also be a foundation for the effective enforcement of individual rights. A clear registration and recognition of the individual's identity with the state is necessary to implement their rights –to employment, education, food, etc. The number, by ensuring such registration and recognition of individuals, would help the state deliver these rights.
Once a person has a UID number they will be able to establish identity easily across the country. The UID number will become the single source of identity verification. Residents would be spared the hassle of repeatedly providing supporting identity documents each time they wish to access services such as obtaining a bank account, passport, driving license and so on.
By providing a clear proof of identity, the UID number will also facilitate entry for poor and underprivileged residents into the formal banking system, and the opportunity to avail services provided by the Government and the private sector. The UID number will also give migrants mobility of identity.