Schools insisting on Aadhaar, say parents

No child should be denied admission and other facilities for lack of Aadhaar, says the UIDAI. (Representational image)   | Photo Credit: Monica Tiwari

Several school managements in the city and other parts of the State are reportedly making it mandatory for parents to submit the Aadhaar number or enrolment id of their children by the end of the month, failing which they have threatened to cancel admissions.

The move comes despite the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) stating that no child should be denied admission in schools on the grounds that they don’t have an Aadhaar card. Nagasimha G. Rao, convener of the RTE Task Force, said that some parents had not enrolled their children for Aadhaar, and are now trying to meet the deadline. “Parents are telling us that they are being pressurised by the school managements and are unable to get appointments to get their Aadhaar card,” said Mr. Rao.

The task force plans to write to officials of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the Department of Public Instruction to direct schools to provide leniency.

A parent who admitted his child in a government school in Hassan said that the school management insisted that they give the child’s Aadhaar details.

“But we said that we have not got the child’s Aadhaar id and gave both mine and my wife’s Aadhaar details to the school at the time of completing the admission process,” said the father.

The department has an online portal — student achievement tracking system — that has details of around 1.03 crore students details. One column requests them to fill in Aadhaar details.

D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS), said that Department of Public Instruction had asked for these details .

School managements believe that the information helps bring more transparency to the admission process. “It has helped weed out duplicates and ensure that parents who are eligible avail the benefits. However, the department should ensure the safety of this data,” said Mr. Kumar. Incidentally, department officials has conducted several camps in schools to ensure that students were enrolled for Aadhaar. In fact, the High Court of Karnataka had pulled up the Department of Public Instruction for making it mandatory to provide Aadhaar details in the SSLC application form. Officials later retracted the order. When contacted, they clarified that while there is a column in the student achievement tracking system asking for the Aadhaar details of the child, it is not mandatory. “It is mandatory only on the scholarship portal,” an official added.

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Printable version | Jul 17, 2021 12:06:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/schools-insisting-on-aadhaar-say-parents/article28392912.ece

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