The Aadhaar Scramble – UP Schools fear they may miss the July 15 deadline

Casting a worried glance at the list, Bahadur Singh, principal of upper primary school in a small village in Uttar Pradesh declared, “Nahi ho payega”. (It cannot be done).

The list he was talking about was the Aadhaar numbers of his students and a majority of them were still to submit their 12 digit biometric based numbers. It was in March that central government has made it necessary to all the students to possess Aadhaar number to get access to mid-day meals and other similar benefits.

The centre’s notification advocated the Uttar Pradesh government to order all primary and upper primary schools to collect Aadhaar number of each student studying in class 1 to 8 by June 30.

Along with mid-day meal, students also get benefits like free books, shoes, uniforms, school bags and more, if they submit their Aadhaar number. On the other hand the education department also threatened to stop principals’ salaries, if they fail to comply with the notification. However, the department has agreed to push the deadline to July 15 from June 30 because of the summer vacations schools were having.

However, the principals are saying that it is nearly impossible to meet the new deadline. On July 4, 30 of the 134 upper primary students of Nanakheda School in Badaun district were yet to submit their Aadhaar number. At the primary school, with Classes 1-5 and 206 students, another 35 were left, said the principal Rajkumari.

Bahadur Singh further said that he sees no way to complete the table of names. He said, “Many of his students had submitted their biometric information at enrolment camps before but got neither the Aadhaar card nor a receipt. Now they find they cannot enroll afresh.”

Singh confirmed that once the list is submitted, all those without Aadhaar will have their names deleted from the register. The state will treat students enrolled without Aadhaar numbers as duplications – that is, simultaneously enrolled elsewhere – or, worse, fictitious.