The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has clarified that schools cannot make the 12-digit biometric identifier a pre-condition for a student’s admission. UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI that asking for Aadhaar cards for admissions is not as per the provisions of law and doing so will be against the recent order of the Supreme Court. He said UIDAI is aware of the reports that some schools are asking for Aadhaar cards for student admission.
The UIDAI’s clarification comes at a time when admissions to the nursery and entry-level classes have begun in over 1,500 private schools in Delhi. UIDAI has asked schools to ensure that no child is denied admission for lack of Aadhaar. Asked what action could schools face if they continued to insist on Aadhaar, Pandey said that it will clearly be seen as contempt of court.
When enquired, Hyderabad Parents Association mentioned that a few parents have been facing this issue and schools are insisting on the submission of Aadhaar card for new admissions as well.
In September, the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar but clipped the scope of the biometric identity project. It had ruled that Aadhaar was not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. The SC verdict emphasised that it would also be non-mandatory for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, University Grants Commission and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical entrance.
The court had held that Aadhaar would remain compulsory for the filing of Income Tax returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number, as well as welfare schemes.