National ID Programs In Practice: Aadhaar Card & Its Analogues

Nearly a decade after its inception as a national identity registration system, Aadhaar ID enrollment is now mandatory for taxpayers who file their returns in India. The Finance Act of 2017 required all taxpaying members of the public, including foreigners residing or working in India, to include their Aadhaar ID number in the tax filing process.


Aadhaar, a Hindi word that means a ‘strong foundation,’ is a card that assures its holder access to all government-sponsored programs, which benefits both the needy and those who are more privileged. It serves as a verified proof of one’s identity as a documented resident of India.


Since July 2017, it has become mandatory for all working people in India to link their Aadhaar number with their Permanent Account Number (PAN). However, an exemption is made for people residing in India for fewer than 182 days in the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of enrollment for the Aadhaar identity form.



These include:


  • An individual who is not officially a citizen of India.
  • Any individual who is 80 years of age or older during the previous year.
  • Individuals permanently residing or working in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam.


Who can receive an Aadhaar ID in India?


Anyone who is residing in India for six months or more can apply for an Aadhaar card if they can provide all the required documentation and identity proofs. Even foreign citizens are allowed to apply for the Aadhaar card, given they fulfill the required conditions and provide the authorities with sufficient information.


Fraud prevention and privacy protection


There were 19.3 million Aadhaar cards issued in New Delhi, the capital of India, alone, which accounts for a population of 17.6 million. In addition to pervasive fraud, the privacy of users can also be compromised, which confirms the need for a foolproof system that prevents misuse and protects privacy. One way it can be done is through a third party that plays the role of an online auditor.



Verification Id’s in some countries across the globe



In Brazil, the Indian Unique Identification Authority Of India (UIDAI) counterpart is known as The Brazilian Association of Digital Identification Technology Companies (ABRID). Its identity card verifies citizenship and is considered a valid form of ID to clear various government processes.



The national identity program in Indonesia is known as Karta Tanda Penduduk (KTP) and its electronic version is called the eKTP. Here, the identity card is embedded with a smart chip and its overall features are a combination of Indian Aadhaar card as well as the one used by China. However, there are separate versions for non-residents.



Ghana has an issuing entity, known as the National Identification Authority (NIA). Its program was first initiated in the country in 1970. The primary purpose was to cover all the nation’s residents, including non-Ghanians, and also enable secure banking transactions.



Malaysia operates one of the most advanced forms of national identity cards in the world. It was one of the first countries to initiate a biometric security system that comes with a computer chip and photo identification system in a single card. The Malaysian MyKad can be used as a digital wallet, a driver’s license as well as an ATM card. A MyKad is a compulsory identity card, required by all citizens over the age of 12. This was first introduced in September 2001 by the National Registration Department, as a replacement for the High Quality Identity Card.



Related Article