Students may soon end up using Aadhaar numbers instead of their roll numbers for examinations going by a circular from the Department of School Education and Literacy under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Despite the Supreme Court verdict that Aadhaar card should not be made mandatory to get government subsidies, the MHRD is pushing all State governments to ensure that all school students apply for Aadhaar. Based on a letter issued by MHRD, the State Education Department on Monday issued a notice to its officials directing them to order heads of government and aided schools in Karnataka to ensure students apply for an Aadhaar by the end of August.
Earlier, the Director of Department of School Education and Literacy wrote to the Secretary of Primary and Secondary Education, Karnataka, requesting the State government to implement Aadhaar among students. The letter, a copy of which is available with The Hindu , reads, “Enrolment of students with Aadhaar should also be done. Department (State Education) may also explore the possibility of using Aadhaar as a proxy roll number for (students) appearing in examinations.”
The department plans to link the Aadhaar number to the State government’s ambitious ‘Hejje Gurutu’ project to provide a 17-digit code to all students from Class 1 to 10 in an effort to streamline academic performance. Sources said that this would help weed out duplicate admissions and also ensure that children do not drop out.
However, State Education Department officials say that although they would not deny admissions to those without Aadhaar or link Aadhaar with incentives, they were “forced” to take up this step and get students to enrol based on the MHRD directions. B.T. Venkatesh, human rights advocate and former special public prosecutor, said that the move is against the Supreme Court order that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory to avail of government subsidies. “Although the government is saying it will not be linked to any service, it is still pushing Aadhaar, which is a gross violation,” he said.
The Commissioner of Public Instruction had issued a circular last month urging all Education Department employees, including teachers and non-teaching staff of aided and government schools, to mandatorily provide their Aadhaar details to link it to their salary accounts.