The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) recently launched Aadhaar identification for children below five years of age. It’s a blue-coloured ‘Baal Aadhaar’ card, and it will not carry biometric identification. This is a key difference from Aadhaar cards that are issued to adult Indian citizens.
The UIDAI has stated that guardians and parents can use their child’s school-issued photograph bearing identification cards for his or her Aadhaar enrolment.
Besides school photo ID card, child’s birth certificate and a mobile number will also be required for enrolment. In addition, one of the parents will have to supply his or her Aadhaar card number at the time of enrolment of the child.
However, the young children that have enrolled for Baal Aadhaar card will need to supply biometric information to the UIDAI once they cross the threshold of five years. Upon receipt of such information, the government authority will update the relevant records in its electronic database.
Thereafter, the second mandatory biometric update is required at the age of 15. These future updates will be conducted by UIDAI free of charge for every child.
These actions will help the Government to provide failsafe government identification to every child as he or she matures into a young adult. Besides, the Baal Aadhaar card program will enable government authorities to devise appropriate child development programs and ensure the smooth and targeted implementation of social development schemes.
However, the UIDAI has gone on record to state that Baal Aadhaar is not mandatory at this stage. But, children who enrol in this program can use the government-issued identification to attend educational programs organised by overseas bodies and agencies.
The Baal Aadhaar also empowers young children to avail government-sponsored scholarships. In addition, parents and guardians of young children can use said identification to open a bank account or a mutual fund account in the names of their minor children.
Applicants can enrol for this identification program at any UIDAI approved centre located in the region of the applicant’s residence or home address.