Is the Aadhar Card mandatory for the citizens of India? Well, no. But its mighty handy to have. The reason it has not been made mandatory is to avoid fraud. Since the project is so huge, the chances of fraudulent activity is higher. Aadhaar has been linked to gas connections, Voter ID, PAN card, and bank accounts. Earlier, there was emphasis on Aadhar being mandatory to avail of any service, benefit or subsidy from the government. But this only leads to false representations and duplicate cards. For these reasons, the Supreme Court has ruled against any mandatory requirement of Aadhaar card for availing government-related services and subsidies. However, there are some states that are insisting on the Aadhar being mandatory to avail of benefits from government schemes. To counter this, the government had published widely that the Aadhaar is not mandatory for any welfare scheme. The information was made available through social media platforms and newspapers.
As of October 2015, an apex court bench of judges removed the mandatory tag from Aadhar and made it known officially that the card was optional.
The Aadhar Card Project
The Aadhaar project was handed over by the Indian Government to UIDAI in March 2006. The project was intended to enroll citizens of the country, especially those below poverty line, in a system that helps identify everyone. Under this system, every citizen of India receives a Unique Identification number. Enrolment is voluntary but they are required to pass through a Demographic and Biometrics test in order to qualify for the card. If a resident of the country has already been enrolled in the National Population Register, they are not required to enrol in the Aadhar project.
So far, more than 92 crore Aadhaar numbers have been allotted. Majority of the cards were issued to those who already have IDs. Reports state that 93% of the adults in India have got their Aadhar card. The government spent over Rs. 56 crores to provide this service for free to its citizens.
Reasons to get an Aadhar Card
- Aadhaar card is a widely accepted form of identification.
- Even though it is not mandatory, an Aadhar card can qualify you instantly, making the process easier and quicker.
- With the Aadhaar card, you can link your bank accounts for the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG connections.
- For the poor people, the direct benefit transfer enables more money to be credited to their accounts directly. This eliminates any other expenditure and cost of middlemen, NGOs, agencies and so on. The scheme is called JAM, Jan-Dhan Aadhar Mobile Yojana.
- You can use the benefit for subsidies on rations and kerosene from PDS.
- Aadhaar is also linked to pension schemes which were launched in 2011.
- With the help of the Aadhar number, funds can be transferred to Aadhaar linked bank accounts though the remittance system launched by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) in 2013.
- In 2014, the link to passports was created.
- The information of these cards will not be shared with any other authority.