The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked universities to exercise caution while maintaining the data related to PhD scholars on their website.
The UGC, in a letter to all universities on April 28, asked them not to publish Aadhaar numbers of students.
“The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 prohibits publishing and displaying the Aadhaar number publicly. Therefore, you are requested not to publish or display the Aadhaar,” reads the letter written by UGC secretary Jaspal Sandhu.
The move comes just days after a data breach came to light in Jharkhand, wherein Aadhaar numbers of lakhs of pension beneficiaries were displayed on a state government website, raising privacy concerns.
The UGC in a letter to all universities on March 10 had asked them to upload data regarding PhD on their websites on various parameters such as names, Aadhaar numbers with photo ID, date of registration, research topic, whether availing fellowship and the likely date of completion among others.
It was also decided that the commission would maintain a list of defaulting universities on its website if universities fail to undertake the exercise of uploading the data.
On Wednesday, the human resource development (HRD) ministry issued a notification making it mandatory for students seeking government scholarships and fellowships to declare Aadhaar numbers by the end of June. The order covers fellowship schemes implemented by the UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).