Govt concerned over dismal rate of Aadhaar linkage for midday meals

A CAG report in the year 2015-16 had pointed out that the number of children availing the scheme is highly inflated as the states were adding fake names to the list to inflate the figures


Only around 61 per cent of primary school students across the country have linked their Aadhaar to avail midday meal scheme and other government schemes meant for school children.

The central government had early this year asked all states and UTs to link Aadhaar cards of primary school students to avail the benefits of the midday meal scheme. However, till July this year, only 61.3 per cent of children across the country have done so. Despite the government extending the deadline for Aadhaar linking to September, the numbers have remained low.

With just two more months to go, the government is concerned about the dismal numbers in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Sikkim, which have low Aadhaar linkage rates. As per data provided by the Human Resource Development Ministry, while places like Daman and Diu and Andhra Pradesh have 100 per cent and 99.6 per cent Aadhar linkage, respectively, the rates in places like Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland are below 30 per cent. West Bengal is yet to submit data in this regard.

Even the national capital does not boast of good numbers. Delhi had an Aadhar linkage rate of 79 per cent until July this year.

A CAG report in the year 2015-16 had pointed out that the number of children availing the scheme is highly inflated as the states were adding fake names to the list to inflate the figures. The Aadhaar linkage was started to put an end to this practice. In its February 28 notification, the HRD Ministry had said that individuals who want to avail the benefits of the midday-meal scheme are required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication.

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