Scholarships linked to Aadhaar cards,JNU wall of resistance finally crumbles

The Aadhaar project has had people everywhere scrambling for the unique identification number to serve as proof of identity and address

Written by Naveed Iqbal | New Delhi | Published: June 27, 2013 3:08 am

The Aadhaar project has had people everywhere scrambling for the unique identification number to serve as proof of identity and address. But here,on the campus of JNU,it has generated enough heat and debate — like most issues do in JNU. The more suspicious have even called it a “surveillance” project of the government,promising never to enrol

themselves.

But on Wednesday,that resistance began crumbling after a circular went out. All JNU residents have been informed about a month-long enrolment camp on the campus,and that all students on scholarships have to register for Aadhaar cards — Vice-Chancellor S K Sopory also registered for Aadhaar at the enrolment counter.

Riya,a PhD student,who is still opposed to the idea of Aadhaar,also decided to queue up at the community centre in Saraswatipuram. “It is linked to my scholarship. I

definitely need that money. So even if I am against it,I will register,”

she said.

Many like her say they have no choice except register for Aadhaar though they are “against the concept of Aadhaar”.

The JNU circular is in line with the move of University Grants Commission (UGC) to link scholarships and fellowships to Aadhaar cards. Students will be able to receive scholarship amounts directly in bank accounts and will not have to go via the university as they do now.

The new arrangement is still facing resistance. JNU Students’ Union president V Lenin said: “You cannot force a certain facility on students. There is no substantial reason why we cannot receive scholarships as we did before.”

But Sujata Chaturvedi,Deputy Director General of the Unique Identification Authority of India,said the reason for doing this is to bring direct benefit transfer to students. “The logic is that registrations for UID will clean up the system by developing an electronic trail and removing fakes and duplicates,” Chaturvedi said.

In January this year,UGC Secretary Akhilesh Gupta proposed linking Aadhaar to bank accounts of students “so that there can be direct transfer… effective disbursal of scholarships and fellowships”.

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