The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked universities to exercise caution in certain regard when making the students information public via their websites, especially when it comes to Aadhar Card. This is while maintaining the data related to PhD scholars on their websites. The UGC, in a letter to all universities recently, had asked them not to publish Aadhar numbers or related information for students on websites.
The decision comes amid concerns from various quarters that the data could be misused and making Aadhar details public will make “economic profiling” of PhD scholars easy. And thus, UGC has told Universities not to publish Aadhar numbers of students.
Do not publish Aadhar for students, UGC tells Universities:
The letter written by UGC secretary Jaspal Sandhu, read…
“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 on your websites.”
The UGC had earlier written a letter to all universities wherein, it had asked them to upload data regarding PhD’s on their websites. The data, 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. However, it soon advised against the display of Aadhar data. The other details are OK to be published.
It was also decided that the commission would maintain a list of defaulting universities on its website. These would be the universities failing to undertake the exercise of uploading the data correctly.
The UGC had given a deadline to the Ph.D students to furnish their details and Aadhaar Numbers by end of June, 2017. Failing which could lead to the cancellation of students’ scholarships and fellowships sanctioned by the Government.
Earlier Notification related to the Publishing Aadhar Numbers:
The UGC’s notification comes at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing a petition against mandatory registration of Aadhaar for various welfare schemes.
In June 2016, the Centre made it mandatory for students to submit their Aadhar numbers for grant of scholarships, including fellowships, at higher education level. Following an instruction from the Human Resource Development Ministry, the UGC directed vice chancellors to send Aadhar numbers of students receiving scholarships under various schemes.
The higher education regulator also directed the vice chancellors to upload details about their students on their respective websites, which did not clarify at that point, whether to upload the Aadhar numbers or not. In September last year, the commission directed all universities to maintain the list of all MPhil and PhD students along with details including name, topic of research, name of supervisor and co-supervisor, date of enrolment among others.
This is however now rectified, by this recent notification clearly stating that Aadhar numbers should NOT be published on websites of Universities.
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