The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Aadhar issuing body, has asked schools not to make Aadhar number mandatory for admission to schools. Asking for the 12-digit biometric identifier Aadhaar number a pre-condition for student admission will be against the recent order of the Supreme Court, UIDAI authorities said.
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI that he is aware of the reports that some schools are asking for Aadhaar cards for student admission. “This is not right. This is not as per the provisions of law…school admission and other facilities to children cannot be made conditional to production of Aadhaar,” Pandey said.
“Schools should admit children without Aadhaar and ensure that children are given Aadhaar once they are in schools by arranging special camps for them,” he added.
UIDAI has asked the school authorities and their management to ensure that no child is denied admission for lack of Aadhaar. Pandey added, doing so would be considered as “contempt of court”.
The word of caution from UIDAI comes at a time when admissions to nursery and entry-level classes have just begun in over 1,500 private schools in Delhi.
In September this year, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar but clipped the scope of the biometric identity project, ruling it was not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions.
The apex court held that Aadhaar would remain compulsory for filing of Income Tax (IT) returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN), as well as welfare schemes.
The SC verdict emphasised that it would not be mandatory for school admissions, as also for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission.