Caste certificate without picture valid, Tamil Nadu government debunks rumours

The message also advised parents to consider replacing these certificates through e-service centres by submitting their Aadhaar details.
A person checking documents at an e-seva centre in Chennai following a recent WhatsApp message saying caste certificates without photos are invalid. (Photo | P Ravikumar)
A person checking documents at an e-seva centre in Chennai following a recent WhatsApp message saying caste certificates without photos are invalid. (Photo | P Ravikumar)

CHENNAI:  Confusion over the legitimacy of community certificates issued to students without pictures spread recently in and around the city. This was following a WhatsApp forward in the form of “a newspaper clipping” doing the rounds for the past few weeks saying that certificates without photographs of students or parents may be deemed invalid.

The message also advised parents to consider replacing these certificates through e-service centres by submitting their Aadhaar details. However, revenue officials dismissed the message terming it false. For the past two years, the government has been issuing caste certificates online with photos of applicants and QR codes. The certificates issued before that were in the form of hard copies without pictures.

T Sadagopan, a resident of Pattabiram who received the message, said, “It indicates that caste certificates without pictures may be declared invalid. Despite numerous forwards on social media, there is no clarity on the authenticity of the message. It creates confusion and anxiety about potential rejection during admissions.”

When TNIE visited a few e-service centres in Korattur, the staff said they too had received such information and advised this correspondent to bring Aadhaar and two photos to obtain a new caste certificate.

A school teacher from Arakkonam told TNIE, “Most teachers in Ranipet district also received a similar text alert a few months ago. Though I explained to a few parents that there was no official communication, they opted to update their certificates online, believing it would ensure smooth verification during NEET and other UG admission and scholarship applications for BC/MBC/SC/ST students submitted online.”

A senior revenue official said TNeGA, which oversees e-seva centres, had not issued any instruction to replace old caste certificates online. “A section of e-seva entre employees seems to have been misled by social media.  “If old community certificates are torn or misplaced, people can apply for a new one,” he added.

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