The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSU) withdrew its rule making Aadhaar Card mandatory for admissions in current academic year after Principal Secretary (Higher and Technical Education) Anju Sharma intervened in the matter on Wednesday.
The university had issued a notice on its website, which read, “Aadhaar number shall be mandatory for the admission process for all Indian nationals.” Although hyperlinked, the notice does not lead to any detail about exceptions.
The issue was highlighted after students — especially those from Northeast or staying outside India — faced difficulty in securing admissions due to absence of an Aadhaar Card. A student from Dubai, who has been trying to get admission in an undergraduate arts course, said, “I do not have an Aadhaar Card but I am an Indian national. I am told that I need to have my Aadhaar Card for admission. It essentially means that I won’t be able to get admission. There is no such law. This is unfair.”
When The Indian Express contacted MSU registrar Neerja Jaiswal on Wednesday, she said the rule came into effect following a circular by the state government. “The UGC has already been insisting on making Aadhaar compulsory. It makes it easier to transfer scholarships and refunds to the account of the students,” Jaiswal said. Principal Secretary (Higher and Technical Education) Sharma denied any such directive being issued by the state government to the universities .
Sharma said, “There is no such directive from the government for any technical or non-technical institution.”
When she was told that the MSU was citing such a directive to make Aadhaar mandatory for admissions, Sharma contacted Vice Chancellor Parimal Vyas and directed him to withdraw the rule. She asked the university authorities to ensure that no student is denied admission on the grounds of unavailability of Aadhaar Cards.
Later on Wednesday evening, Vyas said he had issued a direction to the officers overseeing the admission process to withdraw the mandatory Aadhaar rule.
Citing a UGC directive making Aadhaar mandatory for admissions, Vyas said, “We had enforced the rule in accordance with a UCG circular stating that Aadhaar must be made mandatory in universities. However, after receiving a directive from Principal Secretary Sharma, I have asked my officer to withdraw the rule. We had trouble with some students from the Northeast due to this.”