News for aspirants who want to get into the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and National Institute of Technology (NIT): Students appearing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) will now have to have an Aadhaar card issued by the UIDAI. “At the time of filling application form of JEE (Main) – 2017, the candidates will have to enter their Aadhaar number, name, date of birth & gender which will be validated with the UIDAI’s data,” a notice on the JEE website said.

It added that if the above particulars do not match on the UIDAI’s database, the candidates will not be able to fill the application form for JEE 2017. It also advised students to correct mismatches in school records and the UIDAI database to make sure that they can apply for the examination.

Similarly, in September, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education made it compulsory for students appearing for board exams to display the Aadhaar card at the time of registration.

Meanwhile, last month, The Hindu reported that every student in Karnataka will have an Aadhaar card. The Department of Primary and Secondary Education decided to make the card mandatory for all students in government, aided and private unaided schools, as well as pre-university colleges.

Note that Aadhaar is being made mandatory for many services after Parliament passed the Aadhaar Act in March. However, the government is at loggerheads with the Supreme Court (SC) which said that it cannot be made mandatory for services. In September, the SC bolstered its position with a ruling and said it cannot be made binding while applying for scholarships.

Need for Aadhaar to be updated regularly

J Satyanarayana, the chairman of the UIDAI, while talking about enrolment challenges had stressed the need for continuous update of the data base. He added that the the ages of 5 and 15 are crucial for Aadhaar enrolment and death records need to be updated as well. Indeed, in June, the government directed state authorities  to link Aadhaar with domicile and caste certificates. State governments were instructed that the certificates should be issued to students who are studying in class V or class VII.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Electronics and IT says Aadhaar is not mandatory

In response to a query from MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar in Parliament, PP Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT said that Aadhaar is voluntary, and that if an Aadhaar number is not assigned to an individual, they shall be offered an alternative:

(b): To ensure compliance with the Supreme Court orders, wide publicity to the voluntary nature of Aadhaar have been given. The usage of Aadhaar is governed by The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016. Section 7 of the Act provide that the Central Government or the State Government, may require that the individual shall undergo Aadhaar authentication for the purpose of establishing identity of such individuals, as a condition for receipt of a subsidy, benefit or service or in the case of an individual to whom no Aadhaar number has been assigned, such individual shall make an application for enrolment. Section 7 further provides that, if an Aadhaar number is not assigned to an individual, the individual shall be offered alternate and viable means of identification for delivery of the subsidy, benefit or service.

Source: Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s website