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Safety of Aadhaar:

GS Paper 2:

Syllabus: Government Policies and associated issues.



The Unique Identification Development Authority of India (UIDAI) chose to withdraw its advisory two days after it was issued, encouraging users to desist from distributing photocopies of their Aadhaar Card.

  • The notification has been withdrawn to avoid any misinterpretation.


What did the UIDAI advisory say?

  • Holders should utilise a masked Aadhaar card instead of the traditional photocopy.
  • The document must not be downloaded from a cybercafé or a public computer, and if it is, it must be wiped from the system permanently.

The first eight numbers of the twelve-digit ID are hidden behind ‘XXXX’ characters in ‘Masked Aadhaar.’

What does the law say on usage of Aadhar and its safety?

  • The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 makes it clear that Aadhaar authentication is necessary for availing subsidies, benefits and services that are financed from the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • The requesting entity would have to obtain the consent of the individual before collecting his/her identity and ensure that the information is only used for authentication purposes on the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR).
  • The Act makes it clear that confidentiality needs to be maintained and the authenticated information cannot be used for anything other than the specified purpose.
  • Identity information or authentication records would only be liable to be produced pursuant to an order of the High Court or Supreme Court, or by someone of the Secretary rank or above in the interest of national security.

What are the issues associated with Aadhar? What does CAG’s audit of UIDAI say?

Reference: read this.


About UIDAI:c

  • The UIDAI is a statutory authority established on 12th July 2016.
  • Parent body: Works under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • Initially, the UIDAI was set up by the Government of India in January 2009, as an attached office under the aegis of the Planning Commission.
  • Mandate: The UIDAI is mandated to assign a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number (Aadhaar) to all the residents of India.
  • Total: As of 31st October 2021, UIDAI had issued 131.68 crore Aadhaar numbers.



Prelims Link:

  1. About UIDAI.
  2. Aadhaar.
  3. Registration of UIDAI.

Mains Link:

Has the concept of Aadhaar succeeded as a ‘game changer’ for India’s leaky welfare regime? Analyse.


Q.2) Consider the following statements: (2018)

    1. Aadhaar card can be used as a proof of citizenship or domicile.
    2. Once issued, Aadhaar number cannot be deactivated or omitted by the Issuing Authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

    1. 1 only.
    2. 2 only.
    3. Both 1 and 2.
    4. Neither 1 nor 2.

Sources: the Hindu.