Its’ been more than two years (2 years and 2 months to be precise) since I got my much hyped Aadhar card but its use still remains a big mystery to me. Back in 2011, when my mom compelled me to make this document, she, like many others, did not have any clue what was the purpose of this document. However, considering that it is a government document she insisted me to make one. I obliged to my mom’s request without any questions, mainly because, the booth was right next to my housing society. Besides, it did not cost me any of the additional time (I enrolled on a Sunday afternoon) or money unlike other Government documents. Since, I was not losing anything; I willingly enrolled for this government paper aka Aadhar Card.
I got my Acknowledgment Receipt instantly on February 06th 2011. In a way I was satisfied with the receipt as it flashed my date of birth on it. Date of birth on any Government of India document is always a valid document, isn’t it? However, when the final card arrived at my doorstep on April 7th 2011, I was shocked to see that the actual card reflected only the year of my birth and not my complete date of birth. A document with only year of birth minus the date and month, does it make any sense, that too when we already have a valid document in the form of PAN (Permanent Account Number) Card. At that instant, Aadhar Card was nothing but a waste for me.
I still wonder why the Government is wasting its huge money and time in issuing such a UID when we already have a photograph and complete date of birth on our PAN Card. Perhaps, it’s the address and biometrics but then what’s the use of such a card which needs yet another card to validate the same?
Coming back to my incident, I later inquired at the Aadhar booth regarding the same. To my surprise, I was answered that “Aadhar Card” is a Unique Identity (UID) Card, i.e. it is a testimony of nationality and nothing else which contradicts the line mentioned on the card – “Aadhar is a proof of identity, not of citizenship”. With two opposite statements I thought of talking directly to the officials and tried dialing the Toll free Number available on the card and the UID website. I am still trying the number, but even after two years it doesn’t seem to work.
Not just me, my maid too made the card. She enrolled for the card only because she was told that through the card her family will be aided by the government in the form of subsidies, both in medical treatment and food supply if she gets the card. But, her card just like mine is kept in the cupboard, safe and sound. My neighbor, who is yet to apply for the card is although positive as he has been told that the Aadhaar Card is very important for Provident Funds (PF) transfer.
Speculations, guesses and only rumors but nothing comes as official, neither the purpose nor the benefits. I really wonder why, then the Government issues such a document and I am yet to understand, the hype around it.
Different people have different theory and different conceptions of the same card. Eccentrically, even the authorities at the UID have nothing concrete to share that can throw more light either on the card or its use and applications. The UIDAI website only mentions that Aadhaar will have numerous benefits. It confirms that it is an attestation of identity and would be a gateway to several services. So much that it will be sufficient Know Your Customer (KYC) information for numerous activities like obtaining a Sim Card, opening a new bank account and enrolling other State government services.
Chairman of the UIDAI, Nandan Nilekani, however mentions that the card does not stand as an alternate for other form of identity. Now, if just Aadhaar Card as a sole document gets the work done, it is all right to issue and have such a document. If not, then what is the purpose? Besides, it does not have the complete date of birth.