The Union Human Resources Development (HRD) ministry has made it mandatory for all students availing free meals under the mid-day meal scheme to provide proof of Aadhaar cards, or apply for one before June 30. Apart from students, cooks-cum-helpers working at mid-day meal centres as well, need to compulsorily have unique identification. The ministry’s move is in line with the central government’s mandate to link Aadhaar with subsidy schemes.
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A notification in this regard will be circulated to schools, a senior ministry official told PTI. He added, “The use of Aadhaar as identity document for delivery of services, benefits or subsidies simplifies the government delivery process and enables beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly and in a seamless manner.”
On an average, 10.03 crore children availed midday meals in 2015-17, reports Hindustan Times.
Cook-cum-helpers have also been mandated to furnish Aadhaar cards as they are given a honorarium by the government for their services, making them beneficiaries of the scheme.
During an inter-ministerial meeting held earlier this year, the Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) — under the HRD ministry — had opposed the decision saying it needs more deliberation, reports PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)