Unique Identification Authority Of India (UIDAI)

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

It is an agency under the central government of India mandated to collect demographic and biometric information of the country’s residents, store the data in a central database, and issue to each resident of the country a 12-digit unique identity number called Aadhaar.

This is an important topic from the IAS Exam perspective as questions based on UIDAI may be asked in the upcoming Civil Services Exam.

About UIDAI

  • Prior to its establishment as a statutory authority, UIDAI was functioning as an attached office of the then Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog)
  • UIDAI was created with the objective to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India
  • Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and perform authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals
What is Aadhaar?

Aadhaar number is a 12-digit number issued by UIDAI to the residents of India and is a strategic policy tool for social and financial inclusion, public sector delivery reforms, managing fiscal budgets, increase convenience and promote hassle-free people-centric governance. 

Any individual, irrespective of age and gender, who is a resident of India, may voluntarily enrol to obtain an Aadhaar number.

Know more about Aadhaar through the infographics given at the linked article. 

Organisational Structure – UIDAI

The headquarters of UIDAI are located in New Delhi and it has eight regional offices in Bengaluru, Chandigarh,  Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai and Ranchi, respectively. Apart from this,  it has two Data Centres, one in Bengaluru, Karnataka and the other at Manesar (Gurugram), Haryana.

Objectives of UIDAI

The Unique Identification Authority Of India was set up with an aim to provide a digital platform to the residents of the country and empower them with a unique identity to authenticate anytime, anywhere. Given below are the key objectives of the organisation:

  • To provide good, transparent and efficient governance
  • To develop policy, procedure and system for issuing Aadhaar number to residents of India
  • To provide a platform to the citizens of the country, holding Aadhaar cards to authenticate and update their digital identity
  • Ensure availability, scalability and resilience of the technology infrastructure
  • To ensure security and confidentiality of identity information and authentication records of individuals
  • To make rules and regulations in line with the Aadhaar Act

Learn more about Aadhaar and the Right to Privacy, and Supreme Court’s judgement on this case at the linked article.

Also, get the detailed UPSC Syllabus for the upcoming IAS exam at the linked article.

For any further information regarding exam updates, study material or preparation tips, visit BYJU’S.

Some Important Facts about UIDAI

Q 1. When the first Aadhar issued by UIDAI?

Ans. The first UID number was issued on 29 September 2010 to a resident of Nandurbar, Maharashtra.

Q 2. Who is the present head of the Unique Identification Authority Of India?

Ans. The present Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of UIDAI is Mr Pankaj Kumar. He took over the post on October 29, 2019.

Q 3. How many Aadhaar numbers have been issued till date?

Ans. As per the official data, as of March 2021, more than 143 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued by UIDAI.

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