According to an order issued by the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry on Wednesday, students seeking government scholarships and fellowships will need to declare Aadhaar numbers by the end of June, putting yet another of its benefits programme behind the Unique Identity project wall.
The order covers fellowship schemes implemented by the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education.
“The use of Aadhaar as identity document for delivery of services or benefits or subsidies simplifies the government delivery processes, brings in transparency and efficiency, and enables beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly in a convenient and seamless manner and Aadhaar obviates the need for producing multiple documents to prove one’s identity,” the government stated in its notification.
Students have till June 30 to declare their Aadhaar numbers, or apply for one and declare the enrolment number, to their respective colleges.
The notification came into effect from Wednesday, covering all states excluding Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.
As expected, activists have criticised the government’s move to make the Aadhaar programme – the enrolment to a national database with biometric information such as fingerprints and iris scans – must for those drawing state benefits.
The criticism has centred around a Supreme Court order in September last year, when it said that people without UID numbers must not be denied assistance.