'Aadhaar', a word that sparked long debates and endless conversations in 2017, has been chosen as the first Hindi Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries.
Aadhaar as a word means foundation or base and is derived from Sanskrit. In India, Aadhaar also refers to a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data.
“The other words in the shortlist included 'Notebandi', 'Baahubali', 'Yoga', 'Vikas' and Swachh'.”Share on facebookTweet this
This identification is aimed to enable proper and equal distribution of benefits and services to all Indian citizens residing in the country. However, the debates concerning Aadhaar included citizens' concerns over confidentiality of sensitive information and fear of discrimination against the poor, homeless or the illiterate.
After reviewing the hundreds of public suggestions received, and consulting the opinions of an advisory panel of language experts, Oxford Dictionaries has chosen its first ever Hindi Word of the Year: aadhaar.#HWOTY https://t.co/wPy7kCo94r— Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords) January 27, 2018
From sheer numbers, Aadhaar is considered the world's largest biometric identification system in the world with over 1.19 billion registered residents.
Hindi is the fourth-most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin, Spanish and English (in respective order).
Other than Hindi, 13 Indian languages also feature among the top 50 most commonly spoken languages in the world. These are Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Odia, Bhojpuri, Maithili, and Sindhi.