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Oxford Dictionaries chose Aadhaar as 'Hindi Word of the Year'

This is the first time that a Hindi word of the year has been chosen by Oxford Dictionaries

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'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'.”Tweet 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. 

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.

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