All schoolchildren will soon have unique identification numbers (UID), which will help in tracking their movement in educational institutions and academic records.

This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) here on Wednesday.

The system will help in tracking students' mobility by creating an electronic registry, right from the primary level through secondary and higher education, as also between the institutions. Imprinting of the UID number on the performance records of students, including mark-sheets, merit certificates and migration certificates, will be helpful to prospective employers and educational institutions.

The UID number will also help in dealing with problems such as fake degrees. It could be utilised while dematting of academic certificates, as also education loans and scholarship schemes.

Iris scanning would be done for children aged between 5 and 15, while finger print marks would be added subsequently. Infants and children below the age of five will get the number, but their biometric identification will be done only after the age of five.

Speaking on the occasion, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said that with the new system, the delivery mechanism would be made more efficient.

Educational uses

The technology would be used for proper implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act and monitoring of the mid-day meal scheme and other school programmes.

The Ministry will cooperate and collaborate with the UIDAI in conducting proof of concept (PoC) studies, pilots to test the working of the technology, process of enrolment into the UID database and identify registrars for implementing the UID project (PoC and pilots).

The Ministry will help ensure that the registrars do all that is necessary to put in place an institutional mechanism to effectively oversee and monitor the implementation of the UID project. They will also provide logistic and liaison support to the staff and representatives of the UIDAI.

The MoU was signed by Amit Khare, Joint Secretary in the HRD Ministry, and Anil Kachi, Deputy Director of UIDAI, signed the MoU in the presence of Mr. Sibal and UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani.

School dropouts

Mr. Nilekani noted that the UID would be particularly helpful in tracking school dropouts and migrant students, thereby making access to education possible.

“We are already running a programme for enrolment of homeless people in Delhi that will automatically include children who are out of school,” he said.

The government set up the UIDAI for issuing UID numbers to all residents of India, based on the demographic and biometric data of individuals.

The UIDAI will develop and prescribe standards for recording data fields, data verification and biometric fields, prescribe a process for enrolment of beneficiaries/students to authenticate the identity of a person with a UID number.

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