Schoolchildren who are not enrolled in the Aadhaar scheme by March 31, 2013 will not be given benefits including scholarships, grants, and various certificates, a government order has said.

The order issued by the Secretary, General Education, A. Ajith Kumar here recently said such children would not also be able to participate in competitions.

The order is consequent on a meeting held at the office of the Principal Secretary, Information Technology, on October 10, 2012. At the meeting, it was announced that the government planned to link payment of welfare schemes, scholarships, and other government services to the Unique Identification Number (UID) by April 2014.

“On review of the ongoing enrolment process, it was observed that children enrolment has not come up to the expected level and that to promote the enrolment process, the services of headmasters of schools can be utilised to send the message across to the students that Aadhaar (UID) enrolment is necessary,” the order said.

The order directed all district educational officers, assistant educational officers, and heads of institutions to take all possible steps to complete enrolment of students in areas under their jurisdiction before March 31, 2013. The Director of Public Instruction has been asked to take action to ensure compliance with the directives.

The wording of the order has come in for criticism from the pro-Congress Government School Teachers Union. Its president J. Sasi told The Hindu on Monday that it was unfortunate that the order read as though it was the fault of the children that the enrolment process was slow.