With so many government welfare schemes linked with Aadhaar, it is one of the most important documents you will ever hold.
Also, a vital proof of identity, it can come handy anywhere and anytime.
However, since carrying a physical copy with you is not always practical, the UIDAI launched the mAadhaar app, which serves as your digital Aadhaar copy, on-the-go.
Here's all about it.
Firstly, what really is mAadhaar?
mAadhaar is the official Aadhaar smartphone app launched by UIDAI, to enable users to conveniently access their Aadhaar details, right from their smartphone, whenever and wherever they wish. The app is available for download on all smartphones running on Android 5.0 and above.
These are the key features of the mAadhaar app
1) Biometric locking/unlocking: The mAadhaar app allows users to lock or unlock their Aadhaar biometrics temporarily, in order to prevent potential misuse.
2) TOTP generation: In case the SMS-based OTP fails, you can use the app's Time-based One-time password (TOTP) feature.
3) Generate or fetch VID: The app lets you generate/fetch your VID.
4) QR code/eKYC: Use QR code scan instead of manual entry.
Here's how you can get mAadhaar on your smartphone
To download the mAadhaar app, go to Google PlayStore (https://bit.ly/2Zv1S6s). Click on the Install button. Once the app is successfully installed, you'll be required to set a 4-digit password to ensure app security. Finally, add an Aadhaar profile to start accessing your Aadhaar on smartphone.
How to set up your profile on the mAadhaar app
Open the mAadhaar app, and on top-right corner, click on the three-dots icon, and select 'Add profile' option from the drop-down menu.
Then, enter your Aadhaar number or scan QR code on your Aadhaar card.
Subsequently, an OTP will be sent to your Aadhaar-registered mobile number, and automatically detected by the app.
After successfully verification, your Aadhaar details will be downloaded on your smartphone.
How to use the 'lock/unlock' facility on mAadhaar app
To use the lock/unlock facility, log in to the mAadhaar app.
At the bottom of the screen, click on 'Biometrics Unlock' notification. Then, enter your mAadhaar password.
Post authentication, your biometrics will be locked, and you will not be able to do any transactions.
Further, to unlock your biometrics, follow the procedure again.
You can also use the in-app toggle button for this service.
SC verdict: Clearing the air around Aadhaar status
Post the September 26, 2018 Supreme Court verdict concerning authentication of Aadhaar, there has been much confusion with respect to services where Aadhaar is mandatory and where not.
Aadhaar is no longer mandatory for services such as opening bank accounts, telecom services, and school admissions/entrance tests.
However, it is still necessary for availing government welfare schemes, and filing I-T returns (if PAN isn't used).