Aadhaar Cards: Not Proof of Citizenship

Aadhaar Cards: Not Proof of Citizenship

Aadhaar Cards will now feature prominent disclaimers...

Aadhaar Card not mandatory
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The new Aadhaar cards now emphasize that Aadhaar serves as a proof of identity, not citizenship or date of birth. Despite the Election Commission of India accepting Aadhaar as proof of date of birth for voter enrollment, the recent changes on Aadhaar cards, which highlight it as proof of identity only, might affect such allowances. 

Aadhaar, while not serving as proof of citizenship, is accessible to foreign nationals residing in India for at least six months. Despite its non-citizenship status, various government departments accept Aadhaar for tasks typically reserved for citizens or adults. 

The IDs have a caution saying you should verify them offline by either scanning the QR code on the back of the document or using an XML file provided by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which manages Aadhaar. By authenticating through these methods, the originality of the Aadhaar card can be verified, confirming whether the person holding it is a citizen of India or not. 

In January, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) announced that it won't accept Aadhaar cards as proof of date of birth anymore. This change was approved by the Central Provident Fund Commissioner. On January 16, 2024, the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) released a circular, removing Aadhaar from the list of acceptable documents for verifying the date of birth. 

The Aadhaar card in India is not considered a valid proof of date of birth and citizenship. This has been clarified by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in a 2018 memorandum. The Aadhaar card itself does not provide information about the date of birth; instead, it relies on a separate document submitted by the Aadhaar applicants for this information. 

In a recent circular issued in December 2023, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) highlighted a Bombay High Court judgment from the previous year, reinforcing the fact that Aadhaar should not be used as proof of date of birth. Therefore, organizations and individuals should be aware that Aadhaar is not a valid document for determining date of birth and citizenship. 

Now, all Aadhaar cards and digital copies issued to Indian residents bear a clear warning on their face. This warning not only emphasizes that Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship, but it has been updated to explicitly state that Aadhaar is also not a valid proof of date of birth. This change makes the limitation of Aadhaar more visible and ensures that individuals are aware that it cannot be used as evidence for either citizenship or date of birth. 

Source: The Hindu

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