NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Wednesday directed all educational institutions to include “identification mechanisms like photographs and Aadhar numbers” on degrees and certificates awarded by them as this would be “useful for verification and curbing duplication”.
When asked whether the government was “forcing” people to obtain Aadhaar cards, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said “Yes, we are,” and added that the move would help combat corruption. “If the technology, which has a network of 108 crore people and all tax-paying households have it, and they give it along with their ITR, then the scope for fraud and tax evasion comes down,” he said in response to a question from a BJD member in the Lok Sabha.
However, the Supreme Court had said in October 2015 that the “Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other.” This came after the apex court said on August 11, 2015, that “the production of an Aadhaar card will not be condition for obtaining any benefits otherwise due to a citizen.”
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Finance Bill, including 40 amendments, after two days long discussions. The amendments included making Aadhar mandatory for PAN card and filing of income tax returns.
Vouching for the safety of data, Jaitley said, “Aadhaar has biometric details, so its chances of misuse become minimal.”