Aadhaar for Class I students

The Central Board of Secondary Education may “soon” start registering pupils from Class I against their Aadhaar number, board officials said.

The board, which has 19,000-odd affiliated schools, now registers the students in Class IX without a mandatory link to Aadhaar.

If the new proposal is accepted, schools will have to organise Aadhaar camps in collaboration with the Unique Identity Authority of India to help those of their pupils that lack an Aadhaar number.

Right to education activist Ashok Agrawal said the proposed reform can stymie the unaffiliated schools that enrol and teach children up to Class VIII and transfer them to affiliated schools in Class IX before board registration. It can also curb some schools’ practice of flouting the board’s student strength norms.

Further, Agrawal said, it can stop parents from admitting their children to multiple schools – for instance, to a government school for scholarships and uniforms and a private school for a better education.

Ameeta Mulla Wattal, principal of Springdales School in Pusa Road here, said the initiative would provide clearer dropout data by distinguishing school leavers from children who have moved to a different school or state (the government wants to make Aadhaar registration mandatory for all boards).

The CBSE has already made the Aadhaar number mandatory for students applying for the JEE Main, the gateway to engineering colleges. Those without an Aadhaar number have been advised to enrol for one and provide the pre-Aadhaar registration number provided by the UIDAI for the exam.

The CBSE had issued a circular in September to all its affiliated schools, including 14,000 private schools, asking them to provide information on their fees and facilities on their websites. Nearly 12,000 private schools have uploaded the information.