Here is an infographic that tells you about the various turn of events that led to the inception of the novel idea of Aadhar Card and UIDAI (Universal Identification Authority) in India.
How did the Idea of Aadhar Card Come to Life?
In the year 1999 when India was straight out of the Kargil War, PM Vajpayee and the corresponding NDA Alliance at the Centre ordered the formation of Kargil Review Committee that was responsible for reviewing the state of National Security. The committee, headed by K.Subramanyam, presented its report to the PM at that time, in the year 2000. One of the recommendations of that committee was high priority issuance of Identity Cards to Villagers living in the affected Border Areas. This was later proposed to be extended to all the Citizens living in the Border areas. This turn of events could be helmed as one of the crucial reasons due to which the Idea of Aadhar Card came to life, even though, indirectly so.
Feel free to Click here to visit an article on 4 Aadhar Card Uses, ones not all are aware about.
In the year 2000, a group of Ministers headed by L.K Advani was formed. In 2001, the recommendation of an ID Card was accepted. The report by this group also mentioned that work would soon be started on ‘Multi Purpose National Identity Card Project’. In late September 2001, the Ministry of External Affairs proposed for a mandatory National Identity Card. In the year 2003, the Citizen (amendment) Bill was presented in Lok Sabha by L.K. Advani.
No matter how much crucial the above information is, the conjectures did not lead to anything as concrete as the Idea of Aadhar Card as we know today. It wasn’t until the year 2009, that a notification by the Planning Commission of India (now called the NITI Aayog) established the UIDAI as we know today. This is when the Idea of Aadhar Card came to life after years of struggle and conjectures.
On 28 January 2009, UPA Goverment proclaimed Nandan Nilekani (ex-CEO of Infosys) as the Chairman of UIDAI, a position equivalent to a Cabinet Minister. Critics of Aadhar claimed that all the work on Aadhar was going on even though the legislation regarding its functioning was still not passed. Despite the criticism, the progress of Aadhar Card did not stop and in April 2010, the logo and the brand name ‘Aadhar’ was launched by Nandan Nilekani. He also promised to continue supporting the legislation to safeguard the data held by UIDAI.
In 2013, the year of the biggest ever Lok Sabha Election, the prospects were looking good for the BJP. The leaders of this party, however, left no stone unturned to criticise the whole idea of Aadhar Card. It was even indicated that if the new Govt. was elected, it may no longer support the Aadhar Card initiative and hence, jeopardizing the future of this promising Universal Identity. Nevertheless, BJP did win the Election and Narendra Modi was elected the new Prime Minister of India. A news that gave a relief to the admirers of the idea of Aadhar Card when on 1 July 2014, Nandan Nilekani tabled a meeting PM Modi and Finance Minister, Arun Jaitely. In this meeting, Nilekani convinced the office bearers about the merits of continuing with the Aadhar Project.
On 5th July 2014, the Modi Government announced that it would continue with the Idea of the Aadhar and put in as much effort into its integration as it was done by the previous Govt. Hence, the fate of Aadhar Card is decide, and it has miles to go, leading to a more efficient system altogether.