Aadhar Cards sent by ordinary post

Aadhar numbers are being issued by the Government of India as a once in a life time identification number for a resident of the country. Many consider this as a “Sensitive personal Information” which is going to be linked with the Bank accounts, and several other vital activities of an individual.

If the Aaadhar number falls into wrong hands, it has the potential to be misused.

UIDAI is maintaining that “Aaadhar” is only a “Number” and the document they send is not a “Card”. It is a number which can be quoted to a service provider such as the Bank and the Bank can use it for identifying the individual not because of his posession of the Aadhar card, but with the use of his biometric. This means that every time aadhar ID is to be used, the individual has to provide his biometric (such as the finger print) and the user has to make a query to the UIDAI data base to confirm “Is this the ID of MR…? Yes or No”. The data base is expected to reply either Yes or No.

However in practice and more so since the verification mechanism is unlikely to be available for some time now, the Aadhar paper (let us call it a Card though UIDAI would maintain that it is not a “Card”) will be used by the public as a Photo ID. It is likely to be used for all and sundry applications including railway ticket booking, bank accounts, etc.

Under these circumstances, I was shocked and surprised that I was delivered my cards today by the postal department through ordinary mail. The covers carried a stamp of only Rs 5 and had not even been gummed. They were left by the postman in the letter box on my compound. Though UIDAI had taken my mobile number, they did not alert me that the cards are being delivered.

If this mode of delivery is being used as a routine, the possibilities of the cards being lost and misused on a large scale is a certainty.

Government of India owes an explanation to this callous way of handling the delivery of the aadhar card. If the Card is lost in transit, will Aadhar issue duplicate cards? If not should people manage without a “Card”? with some unknown person having the card in his possession and using it as an ID?


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