Aadhar row: Parents write to commissioner, seek action against Hyderabad schools

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  20 March 2021 3:45 AM GMT
Aadhar row: Parents write to commissioner, seek action against Hyderabad schools

Hyderabad: Hyderabad School Parents Association (HSPA) on Friday wrote to Commissioner and Director of School Education (DSE) seeking action against private schools which demand students' Aadhar details at the time of admission.

HSPA said the private schools are claiming that it is part of a child's information sought by the school education department. The Association said schools claim unless Aadhar details of a student are filed, the information will not get uploaded by the Management Information System (MIS) Coordinator.

"Aadhar details of a child are linked with the students' current school. Only after Aadhar details are delinked by Mandal Education Officer, MIS Operator can upload the child's information. This practice of linking students' Aadhar details with the admission process is causing hardship to the parents. School managements are using this process as coercive tactics at the time of issuing a Transfer Certificate," said Kadapa Venkata Sainath, Secretary, HSPA.

He added that the practice of insisting on the mandatory Aadhar details and uploading by the Management Information System Coordinator on the Mandal Education Office (MEO) portal is in violation of Adhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016 and the Supreme Court judgment.

In the Puttuswamy and Others VS Union of India, the Supreme Court held that Article 21A of the Constitution guarantees the right to education and makes it a fundamental right of children between 6 years and 14 years of age. Such a right cannot be taken away by imposing the requirement of holding Aadhaar card, upon the children, the court said

"In view thereof, admission of a child in his school cannot be covered under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act as it is neither subsidy nor service. No doubt, the expression 'benefit' occurring in Section 7 is very wide. At the same time, it has to be given restrictive meaning and the admission of children in the schools, when they have a fundamental right to education, would not be covered by Section 7, in our considered view," the apex court held

Likewise, the court said it has to be kept in mind that when the children are incapable of giving consent, foisting compulsion of having Aadhaar card upon them would be totally disproportionate and would fail to meet the proportionality test.

"As the law exists today, a child can hold property, operate a bank account, be eligible to be a nominee in an insurance policy or a bank account or have any financial transaction only through a legal guardian who has to be a major of sound mind," it said

The apex court noted that so far as the school admissions of children are concerned, the requirement of Aadhar would not be compulsory as it is neither a service nor subsidy.

"Further, having regard to the fact that a child between the age of 6 to 14 years has the fundamental right to education under Article 21A of the Constitution, school admission cannot be treated as 'benefit' as well," the court said.

HSPA requested the commissioner to give directions to the education officers of the respective districts to take action against the private schools that are insisting on a child's Aadhar details at the time of admission.

The association also sought action against the Mandal Educational Officers and Management Information System Coordinator who are uploading the Aadhar details on management information system thereby creating a cumbersome procedure for a child to get a new admission.

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