Now schools roped in for Aadhaar drive

CHENNAI: Now, schools in the city are being roped in as part of an Aadhaar enrolment drive in the city. A notification by the education department a week ago instructed several city schools to collect aadhaar card details of their students and their parents.

G J Manohar, headmaster of MCC Higher Secondary School said they are collecting details from across classes. “Camps too are being held in selected school centres to enroll those who don’t have an aadhaar card into the scheme,” he said. Collectors will visit centres to guide students through the fingerprint and photo procedure.

However, this doesn’t seem to have gone down well with some of the parents who expressed concern over providing such personal details to schools. “I want to know why we are being asked to provide these details to schools. It is after all a very private document,” said Priya, a parent of St Bede’s School.

A representative of SBOA Matriculation Higher Secondary School, who wished to be anonymous, said it was becoming very difficult for them to collect details. “Many parents have come and said they cannot share such confidential information. It is not an easy process,” the representative said.

While there have been reports of aadhaar being linked with exam procedures and even roll numbers, Tamil Nadu education department officials maintained that the Aadhaar details will only be linked with the EMIS (Education Management Information System) number. Commissioner of Revenue Administration, Atulya Misra said, “Aadhaar card based attendance systems are followed in many central government offices. The government is keen on providing enrollment facilities for aadhaar.

It is completely voluntary.” With 59.9% of the city’s population having aadhaar cards, Chennai ranks low when compared to other districts in Tamil Nadu. Census department statistics show that 27.7 lakh people of the 33.89 lakh in Chennai who registered for aadhaar have obtained the cards. In TN, a total of 5.39 crore aadhaar cards have been distributed so far.