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What is the News?
The Minister of Electronics & Information Technology has addressed the three-day workshop ‘Aadhaar 2.0- Ushering the Next Era of Digital Identity and Smart Governance’.
The workshop was organized by the Unique Identification Authority of India(UIDAI). The workshop aims to analyze the reach of Digital Identity in major reforms and schemes launched by the Government.
What is Aadhar?
Aadhar number is a 12-digit random number issued by the UIDAI (“Authority”) to the residents of India after satisfying the verification process laid down by the Authority.
Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident of India, may voluntarily enrol to obtain an Aadhaar number.
A person willing to enrol has to provide minimal demographic and biometric information during the enrolment process which is totally free of cost.
An individual needs to enrol for Aadhaar only once and after de-duplication only one Aadhaar shall be generated as the uniqueness is achieved through the process of demographic and biometric de-duplication.
Moreover, Aadhar was given statutory status by the Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016.
Importance of Aadhar
Firstly, Aadhar is increasingly being used by residents to prove their identity and for availing services under various schemes through online Aadhaar authentication.
Secondly, the APB payments (Aadhar-enabled DBT payments) have increased significantly by the government in times of COVID.
Recommendations from the workshop
Aadhaar can continue itself as one of the main enablers of identity verification in both online as well as offline mode in light of the SWIK rules (Social welfare, Innovation and Knowledge).
Aadhar’s legal framework is settled with the Aadhaar Act, Supreme Court judgement, but for addressing privacy aspects, Data Privacy Law Needs to be enacted.
Biometrics in Aadhar can be improved using Artificial Intelligence and deep learning techniques.
Source: This post is based on the article “‘Aadhaar 2.0- Ushering the Next Era of Digital Identity and Smart Governance’ workshop” published in PIB on 25th Nov 2021.