The Unique Identification Authority of India is once again recalibrating its efforts to promote Aadhaar, the country’s biometric national ID program, with the announcement that it will offer Rs 2B, or about $27,668,000, in assistance to school districts for the enrollment of students.
It’s a response to confusion among school administrators that was arguably the fault of government authorities, who had issued an order to junior science colleges earlier this summer requiring them to implement biometric attendance tracking for students. In August, the authorities doubled down on the order, requesting updates from schools acknowledging that they had implemented the technology, or explaining why they hadn’t yet.
That all appears to have resulted in a situation in which some schools were refusing admission to students who hadn’t yet been enrolled in Aadhaar, prompting the UIDAI to issue a new order compelling schools to admit students regardless of whether or not they have Aadhaar numbers.
The UIDAI’s new funding appears to be a further effort to ameliorate the situation. The funding is intended to pay for two portable Aadhaar enrollment machines per school district, which are to be transferred from school to school to facilitate student enrollment.
It’s the latest indication of the government’s uneven handling of the nationwide expansion of Aadhaar, and a testament to the UIDAI’s determination to get as many citizens as possible registered in the ID program.
Source: The Times of India
September 19, 2018 – by Alex Perala