Making Aadhaar card mandatory has made it difficult to secure scholarships: Students
The state government decided to transfer money allotted for the 43 scholarship schemes directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, instead of handing it over to educational institutesmumbai Updated: Oct 10, 2017 00:19 IST
Applying for various scholarships has become a hassle ever since the state government launched a new website in August to disburse scholarship money, said students.
Those seeking scholarships through the new portal — www.mahadbt.gov.in — are required to provide the details of their Aadhaar cards and their Aadhaar-linked SIM card, and income and domicile certificates. The portal was launched to facilitate Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism of fund distribution.
The state government decided to transfer money allotted for the 43 scholarship schemes — 12 pre-matric, 31 post-matric — directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, instead of handing it over to educational institutes.
But the students complained that the new formalities have made it difficult to secure scholarships.
“Earlier, the government would accept birth certificate and income affidavit while applying for scholarship. Now, the students have been directed, on a very short notice, to furnish domicile certificates and income certificates. The students now have to make rounds of tehsildar office and Aadhaar centres,” said Amir Nurle, head of zonal scholarship cell, Students Islamic Organisation of India.
The mandatory linking of Aadhaar card to various welfare schemes has become a contentious issue, with the Supreme Court hearing a petition challenging thevalidity of this policy. On August 24, a nine-judge Constitution bench unanimously ruled that privacy is a fundamental right inherent to life and personal liberty.
VK Gautam, principal secretary, state information technology department, said that the verification through OTP is the standard verification process prescribed by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
“If one doesn’t want to verify his identity through thumb impression, then he will have to opt for OTP sent to the mobile number seeded with Aadhar,” he said.
Priyadarshi Telang, convenor, Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan, a Pune-based organisation, said that the new requirements were not necessary and adds to the students’ burdens.
“The mobile number is merely required for one time password (OTP) method of verification. But if students have already linked their Aadhaar cards with bank accounts, there is no need for additional verification. Besides, in India, people constantly change their mobile numbers,” he said.
Telang also said that many students in remote areas don’t even have Aadhaar cards, making it impossible for them to avail education assistance.
“The government should apply some logic before implementing a policy,” he said.