While you travel, you need to carry some identity proof with you. But now, this has been made quite simple. Yes, the mAadhaar app, which was rolled out this year in July, now can be present as an identity proof during the train trips, taking away the necessity to bear a physical proof while traveling by train. This can be an actual relief for individuals who do not usually carry other recommended identity proofs such as Aadhaar card, voter ID, driving license, and PAN card among others.
The mAadhaar app, designed by the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), is a digital platform wherein the citizens of India can store their information such as name, gender, date of birth, a photograph, and address linked with their individual Aadhaar numbers. At present, the mAadhaar is accessible for Android smartphones, whereas its iOS version will be launched soon.
The passengers, to facilitate the use of mAadhaar as a legitimate identity proof while a train trip, will have to present their information through the app after opening it with their biometric (for instance, fingerprint). Also, it has a process for generation of the time-based one-time password (TOTP) that can be used instead of the usual SMS-based one-time password (OTP) system. Nevertheless, in order to use mAadhaar on one’s Android smartphone, the mobile number of the user should be registered with UIDAI. After this, their Aadhaar details can be linked within the mAadhaar app.
Through Press Information Bureau, the Ministry of Railways issued a statement mentioning, “mAadhaar, when shown by the passenger on his/her mobile after entering the password, should be accepted as proof of identity for undertaking journey in any reserved class over Indian Railways.”
This is surely something that a majority of train passengers have been hoping for since a long time. However, the move has come along with apprehensions raised by biometric stalwarts and industry analysts about Aadhaar. Aadhaar initiative of UIDAI has come under scrutiny for its openness, while the privacy fears are on the rise. Recently, the Indian government has declared to compose a 10-member board to suggest a structure for protecting personal information in the progressively digitized economy as it will also deal with raised concerns and make defends against data infringes in future.