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While Indian citizens are still coming to grip with the importance of Aadhaar cards when they already have multiple government identification cars like PAN, Ration cards etc.in place, the Indian government has decided to make these cards a more inclusive part of their lives. Yesterday, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) announced the launch of mAadhaar app that will allow people to carry
the information of their Aadhaar cards right on their smartphone. This means, no more carrying the bulky card around and no more living in the fear of forgetting it during important identification events such as catching a flight or when going through an important government regulated application process.

In order to access the mAadhaar or ‘mobile Aadhaar’ app, users will have to register their phone number with UIDAI. Once that is done, the users can download their entire Aadhaar details on the app. This includes data such as name, date of birth, gender, address and the photograph on the card. For now, the app is only being made available for Android users and can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

The app comes with an option of sophisticated locking or unlocking of biometrics data since the data is very sensitive and can be used for wrong reasons if hijacked by notorious entities. Once a user enables Biometric Locking system, their biometric remains get locked till the Aadhaar Holder himself/herself chooses to either Unlock it (which is temporary) or Disable the Locking system altogether. The mAadhaar app also provides the users with an option of using “Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP)” feature instead of SMS-based OTP in order to ensure greater level of safety of your important data.

The mAadhaar app will allow Aadhaar card holders to get an updated view of their profile once the updation request is complete. Using the app, the users will be able to share QR code and password protected eKYC data to retrieve accurate demographic information from it instead of investing time in doing a manual entry.

The app is currently beta stage, which means not all the above mentioned features are available as of now. It is important to note that a new amendment to the tax proposals in the Finance Bill for 2017-18 has made it mandatory for anyone who has a PAN card to provide their Aadhaar number to the principal director general of income tax or DGIT. Hence, mAadhaar actually has a chance of becoming a big hit among the digitally empowered, employed younger generation of the country.

Digitisation of Aadhaar can be considered as another step forward in Indian government’s effort towards making India a digital country.

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