Aadhaar is now mandatory for students. But is it legal?

While Tamil Nadu government makes Aadhar mandatory for all students in government and aided schools, it may be illegal to do so.

Published: 07th August 2019 04:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th August 2019 04:45 AM   |  A+A-


Tamil Nadu government makes it compulsory for school children to have Aadhar and link their details into a central database

Express News Service

Having an Aadhar card is now mandatory for all students in government and aided schools. A circular issued by the School Education Department on Monday, has asked schools to ensure that all students have an Aadhar identification and compulsorily link these details with the Educational Management Information System (EMIS)- a central data repository of the State.

The Aadhar registration and collection of these details for EMIS is done by Samagra Shiksha, which is party funded by the Central Government.

However, making Aadhar mandatory for students is a violation of the Supreme Court rules, said Raghu Godavar, a member of the Rethink Aadhaar campaign which aims to ensure that people are aware of their rights with respect to Aadhaar. "School admissions are neither a subsidy nor a benefit. It is part of a child's fundamental right ensured by the Right to Education Act," he said.

Para 332 (c) of the Supreme Court’s Aadhaar judgment states: “Insofar as the school admissions of children are concerned, requirement of Aadhaar would not be compulsory as it is neither a service nor
subsidy."He further said that as far as children are concerned, it is illegal for school to take a student for Aadhar registration or collect such details without parental consent.

While the circular entails 17 guidelines on how schools and government officials should register students for Aadhar and link their information with EMIS, none of them speak about parental consent.

"It is in contempt of the law and a parent can take a school that is registering students for Aadhar, to court. The very idea of consent is alien to children and until they are 18, they need parental consent for registering for Aadhar," he said.

Earlier this year, Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) came into force in the State
for teaching and non-teaching staff in government high and higher secondary schools. However, this has now been extended to students as well. "The Samagra Shiksha has already been collecting Aadhar information from students to link with EMIS. Many students were left out of the system. Therefore, if a student did not have Aadhar, they can be registered for it now," said a senior official from the School Education Department.

The circular notes that if students do not have Aadhar, the schools should help them get registered at no extra cost. Further, the details of the registration should be uploaded on the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) website as well, the circular said.

EMIS, which is a central data repository was launched to monitor the performance of education programmes offered by the State and distribute funds appropriately. "The system aims to prevent malpractice by in school which boosts the enrollment figures to get more funds and resources," the official said.

The linking of Aadhar details with the EMIS will be carried out at the Block Resource Centre by the Samagra Shiksha officials. The registration will take place only during school working hours, the circular said.

While no payment should be received for the new registration, Rs 50 will be charged for those who want to change their information on their Aadhar identification card. This registration service is only for school students. Common people will not be allowed to register at these centres.

"The School Head Master should identify the students who don’t have Aadhaar number and take measures," the circular said adding that students between the age group 5 to 15 years should register their signature, photo and retinal scan freshly.

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  • venkat

    The Supreme Court has ruled that Aadhar is not mandatory for any purpose. Another confusion
    4 months ago reply
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