The government of India has launched a unique identity system (UID) through Aadhaar card in order to deliver various benefits to the citizen of India, including the LPG subsidy and MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) wages. The government is now planning to link the PDS (Public Distribution System) subsidy with the Aadhaar card.
Introduced in 2009, the project is run by Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) and has faced some problems. The basic problem reported is constitutional in nature as it involves the collection of biometric data of the citizens. Identification of citizens and providing them the terminal benefits of the government schemes is the basic aim behind the project.
Secondly, the card can also serve as a nationally acceptable identity card and can be linked with bank accounts, insurance and pension. The process involves issuance of a unique 12 digit Aadhaar number on a card (Aadhaar card) with the address printed overleaf.
It is a card consisting of a unique 12 digit number, generated after scanning a person biometrically i.e. fingerprints and retina scan. It also includes address of the holder overleaf and a QR code which can be scanned digitally. The card is attained only after successful application and then approval from the authority (UIDAI). The authority mails the card to the applicants, but one can also download a PDF copy from the authority's website. It should be noted that physical presence of card is not required to avail the attached benefits of the card.