[Breaking at My Lawrd] The Delhi government has mandated the use of Aadhaar for students to avail of various scholarship schemes. If desirous students desirous of the schemes do not possess an Aadhaar number, they will have to apply for it.
The new mandate comes through a notification dated 24th November 2021. The Directorate of Education in the Government of NCT of Delhi has issued the notification which covers all subsidy/ scholarship schemes.
Which schemes are we talking about?
The mandate applies to the following subsidies/ scholarships of the Delhi government:
- Free Supply of Text books &Writing Material –S&M (cash & Kind to students of Govt & Govt. Aided Schools);
- Subsidy for School Uniforms to students-Subsidies (cash to students of Govt & Govt Aided Schools);
- Chief Minister’s Scholarship for Meritorious students-Scholarship & Stipend (Cash only for Govt school students);
- Welfare of EBM students -Scholarship & Stipend (Cash only for Govt school students); and
- Integrated Education of the disabled child at secondary stage (IEDSS)- Scholarship & Stipend (Cash only for government School Students).
Any student desirous of the subsidies/ scholarships shall be “required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication”.
Further, those “who does not possess the Aadhaar number or, has not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, but desirous of availing benefits under the scheme shall have to apply for Aadhaar enrollment.
Is this legal?
The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 bars the government from demanding Aadhaar from a child. Section 3A specifically states that:
“Notwithstanding anything in Section 7, a child shall not be denied any subsidy, benefit or service under that Section [Section 7] in case of failure to establish his identity by undergoing authentication, of furnishing proof of possession of Aadhaar number…”
Further, as per Section 4, no government can make Aadhaar mandatory for the provision of any service unless such authentication is required by a law made by Parliament.
Besides, the Aadhaar enrolling agency shall seek the consent of a child’s parent. The notification is completely silent on this issue.
You can read the notification here.