New Delhi, May 01, 2017 : The Centre has asked the universities not to make public Aadhaar number of PhD scholars, withdrawing the university grants commission’s (UGC) instruction which required all of the varsities to upload the data of their students along with their unique identification numbers on their websites since last year.
“It is informed that 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 number of the scholars publicly,” the university grants commission (UGC) has said in a recent directive to the varsities.
A course correction from the UGC comes at a time when the Supreme Court is hearing a petition against mandatory registration of Aadhaar for various welfare schemes. The issue has also been in focus with recent reports about the leakage of Aadhaar data.
Last year in June, the Centre made it mandatory for the students to submit their Aadhaar number for grant of all scholarships including fellowships at the level of higher education.
Following an instruction from the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, the UGC directed the vice chancellors of all universities to collect and send to it Aadhaar number of the students getting scholarship or fellowship under various schemes.
The higher education regulator also directed the vice chancellors to put up “all information” about their students on their respective websites.
Later in September last year, the Commission directed all universities to maintain the list of all the MPhil and PhD students along with their details including name, topic of research, name of supervisor and co-supervisor, date of enrolment among others.
“As per the Clause 5.6 of these Regulations the University shall maintain the list of all the MPhil/PhD registered students including name of the registered candidate, topic of his/her research, name of supervisor/co-supervisor, date of enrolment registration on its website on year-wise basis,” UGC stated in an advisory on September 27, 2016.
It directed the universities to implement this clause “in letter and spirit” in your esteemed universities “immediately.” “The information (about the students) may be made available on the homepage of your University’s website with a dedicated link. This data must be updated on university’s website on a regular basis and intimated to UGC by e-mail,” the commission added.