KOCHI: e Kerala State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) seems to have turned a deaf ear to the Supreme Court directive to withdraw all government orders making Aadhaar mandatory for people for availing any government services.
Making Unique Identification Number (Aadhaar number) mandatory for applying to the first level of National Talent Search Exam (NTSE), the SCERT has made thousands of students ineligible for applying, only because they do not have a UID.
National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), organised by the National Council of Educational Research and Training, is a national-level scholarship programme held every year to identify and recognise students with high intellect and academic talent. Close to 1,50,000 students in the country appear for this exam and 1,000 scholarships are awarded.
Before qualifying for NCERT, the first level is the state level talent search exam (STSE) which is conducted by the SCERT.
“We are not able to submit the application form as the field where the Aadhaar number needs to be filled is mandatory. A number of students who do not have an Aadhaar number will lose their chance to appear for the exam because of this,” said the parent of a student who was willing to apply for this year’s NTSE.
Responding to the issue, SCERT liason officer Mala Vanajapathi told ‘Express,’ “Government and aided school students have a UID/EID number, but in the case of other students, there is no such thing to identify their unique ID. Because of this, we had thousands of duplicate applications last year. There were cases where the same student submitted about forty different applications.”
She said the decision was taken after receiving the consent from the Director of Public Instruction.
“The students without the UID can register for one immediately and fill in the temporary number they get,” she said. However, with the last date of submission of application being September 25, it is bound to affect several students without a UID.