CBSE makes Aadhaar must for JEE enrolment

KOLKATA: As if the demonetisation scheme was not enough. Now, a decision by the CBSE to make Aadhaar mandatory for all students appearing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), Mains-2017, is sure to add more ammo to Mamata Banerjee’s armoury .The West Bengal chief minister has repeatedly protested against the Centre’s decision to link Aadhaar with the different Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) schemes.

If the CBSE persists with its decision, students from West Bengal are likely to be hit the hardest. Unlike states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, where nearly 95% of the population have enrolled for Aadhaar and rece ived there Unique Identification (UID) numbers, the figure in West Bengal is only 78%.According to available data, only 7,54,67,010 people in the state out of a population of 9,66,22,186 have got Aadhaar cards. This leaves 2,11,55,176 people in the lurch.

JEE Mains-2017 will be held on April 2, 2017 and the last date of registration is January 2, 2017. According to CBSE officials, Aadhaar cards will be mandatory to fill up forms from this year. A circular states that students who do not possess Aadhaar cards should apply for them. In case cards have invalid or wrong information, they should be rectified before the forms are filled up.

Realising that the decision by CBSE to introduce Aadhaar is likely to kick up a storm, a senior HRD ministry official said: ” A complaint has reached minister Prakash Javadekar. He will take every measure to ensure no eligible student is left out from appearing in the examination due to nonavailability of Aadhaar card.” The announcement has already led to consterna tion among teachers and students in the state.
According to Rammohan Mission School principal Sujoy Biswas: “This will cause a lot of inconvenience to the students, particularly when they are preparing for a major board examination as well as competitive exams. The CBSE could have taken the decision to make Aadhaar mandatory from 2018. This would have given the students some time.”
JEE Mains is an eligibility test for JEE Advanced, which candidates have to sit for admission to the undergraduate programmes offered by the IITs, ISM Dhanbad. JEE Mains also acts as an entrance examination for undergraduate engineering programmes in NITs, IIITs and other centrally-funded institutions.