MongoDB: Aadhaar’s Original Database Management

Vrukshali Torawane
4 min readMay 25, 2021


✨ What is MongoDB ?

MongoDB is a source-available cross-platform document-oriented database program. Classified as a NoSQL database program, MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with optional schemas.

✨ Main features of MongoDB :

1. Indexing :

👉🏻 Fields in a MongoDB document can be indexed with primary and secondary indices.

2. Replication :

👉🏻 MongoDB provides high availability with replica sets. A replica set consists of two or more copies of the data. Each replica-set member may act in the role of primary or secondary replica at any time. All writes and reads are done on the primary replica by default. Secondary replicas maintain a copy of the data of the primary using built-in replication. When a primary replica fails, the replica set automatically conducts an election process to determine which secondary should become the primary. Secondary can optionally serve read operations, but that data is only eventually consistent by default.

3. Aggregation :

👉🏻 MongoDB provides three ways to perform aggregation: the aggregation pipeline, the map-reduce function, and single-purpose aggregation methods.

4. Server-side JavaScript execution :

👉🏻 JavaScript can be used in queries, aggregation functions (such as MapReduce), and sent directly to the database to be executed.

5. Load balancing :

👉🏻 MongoDB scales horizontally using sharding. The user chooses a shard key, which determines how the data in a collection will be distributed. The data is split into ranges (based on the shard key) and distributed across multiple shards. (A shard is a master with one or more replicas.). Alternatively, the shard key can be hashed to map to a shard — enabling an even data distribution. MongoDB can run over multiple servers, balancing the load or duplicating data to keep the system up and running in case of hardware failure.

✨ How Aadhar uses MongoDB ??

👉🏻 Aadhar is India’s Unique Identification project, which has the biggest biometrics database in the world. Aadhar Project is using MongoDB as its database to store a massive amount of demographic and biometric data of more than 1.2 billion Indians. MongoDB is being used for the storage of images in the Aadhar project.

👉🏻 Aadhaar chose to partner with MongoDB (in addition to other vendors such as Hadoop, MySQL, HBase, and Solr) for several reasons.

👉🏻MongoDB is an example of a startup company that leverages its expertise in data management, processing, and analytics to provide services to UIDAI’s Aadhaar program across the fifth and sixth stages of Aadhaar’s value chain.

👉🏻First, MongoDB increases database efficiency with its NoSQL approach, which enables Aadhaar to capture, process, search, and analyze large unstructured datasets faster than most other management software would allow.

👉🏻Second, MongoDB can efficiently store large volumes of biometric data and images, whereas many other management systems, such as MySQL, are less suited for image storage.

👉🏻Third, Aadhaar’s data processing analytics cannot depend solely on a single software supplier. As a result, UIDAI diversified its systems reliance across multiple vendors and leverages each vendor’s strengths. Aadhaar has therefore been less dependent on MongoDB and has decided to share more of the data processing volume with its other management vendors.

Nonetheless, MongoDB has been performing well financially and has gained the attention of many venture investors over the years, including NEA, Seqouia Capital, Flybridge Capital Partners, Union Square Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intel Capital,, Red Hat, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, and Altimeter Capital. In its most recent venture round in October 2013, MongoDB had a valuation of approximately $1.2 billion.

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