BASANT KUMAR MOHANTY
New Delhi, Oct. 31: The Centre plans to track every student enrolled in every private or government school in the country by their Aadhaar numbers to keep tabs on dropout rates.
Those among the 26 crore students who do not have Aadhaar cards will be given a unique 18-digit number by which they will be tracked till they get their Aadhaar numbers.
The idea behind the ID-based tracking system is to log the individual data of every student enrolled in Classes I-XII in the 15 lakh schools in the country so that policy makers would be able to pinpoint a specific student dropping out of a specific school, officials said.
Accordingly, the HRD ministry has asked all states to direct all schools to submit individual data of each student: name, parents' name, caste, Aadhaar number, religion, bank account details and date of birth.
The data will be maintained by the National University for Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA), a government think tank, under the scheme called the Unified District Information System of Education (U-DISE).
At present, the think tank maintains only the annual class-wise and overall count of students enrolled in a particular school as well as its infrastructure details. Dropout rates are calculated based on similar data collected the following year. If a child drops out of one school and joins another, that would be reflected in the data provided by the new school.
"The unique ID number (Aadhaar) will be tracked every year. If any student has transferred to some other school, his ID number would indicate that. If he has dropped out, the ID number should be shown in the dropout box of that school," said Arun C. Mehta, the head of the Educational Management System at NUEPA.
Some states have started gathering student details since the exercise kicked off on September 30. The Union territory of Chandigarh has uploaded data for 2.5 lakh children. All states are expected to hand in their student data before the academic session starts in 2017.
After the data for the 2018 academic session is submitted, it would be possible to specifically check which student has dropped out of which school.
Under the system prevailing now, if a school says it has 200 students, the NUEPA accepts it without verification. The new format will help check any exaggeration or otherwise by any school, Mehta said.
As of now, dropout details are very general. According to the U-DISE data collected in 2014-15, about 18 per cent of students enrolled in Class I dropped out before completing Class X. The same data suggests there are 26 crore children studying in 15 lakh schools in the country.
According to the All India Survey of Higher Education, dropout rates increase sharply at the under-graduate level. Only 25 per cent students between 18 and 23 years are enrolled in higher educational institutions, the survey said.
"At present, we get overall dropout data. We do not know who dropped out and why. Once the students are tracked, the implementing agencies can reach out to these students and their parents and bring them back to school," Mehta said.
Civil society groups, however, appeared skeptical about the success of the exercise.
Ambarish Rai, an activist associated with the Right To Education Forum, said the 2010 RTE act had a provision to find out-of-school students and bring them back to school within three years.
"The RTE act provision was never implemented on the ground. This tracking system is a good idea. But getting dropout data of an individual child and bringing him back to school are two different things," Rai said.
He said district and block-level education officials were under-staffed and burdened with routine work like release of funds and inspection of schools. They hardly approach any parent and are unlikely to do so, he said.
Besides, many schools have few teachers and inadequate infrastructure. Nearly eight per cent of the 13 lakh government schools are managed by one teacher. Five lakh teacher posts are vacant in government schools.
"Technology will only work once you strengthen the resources of implementing agencies and schools," Rai said.
HRD ministry officials said the student data could also be used to track overall performance of schools if a proposal to gather exam details is implemented.
The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018
When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.-Mahatma Gandhi
In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.Mahatma Gandhi
“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi
“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.”-A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.
Legal scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.
Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha
“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh
But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant.Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP
“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017.
August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty”and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"
“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” -Edward Snowden
In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.
Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.
Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.
UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy
2) Issue fiats and point finger
3) Shoot messenger
4) Bury head in sand.
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