UIDs likely for schoolchildren

Panel moots change in admission norms

UIDs likely for schoolchildren


The UIDAI, chaired by Nandan M Nilekani and his second-in-command Director General Ram Sewak Sharma, has stressed the need for making it mandatory for children to have the UID at the time of admission to school once the process of issuing the UID gets under way.

The rationale behind the proposal is that children can be tracked for academic progress besides being targeted for direct benefits.

According to the UIDAI, India being a young country with over 400 million residents below the age of 18, the government needs to specifically target that segment of the population.

The authority, in its confidential paper, which was accessed by Deccan Herald, says the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) programme could be an ideal platform for the enrolment of children (of the age group of 6-14) under the UID.

The paper notes it will enable better child tracking and improvement in the mid-day meal scheme. Observing that the concept of universal child tracking is gaining ground, the advantages of the UID would be immense for children, according to the paper.

Database

It says enrolling children under the UID must be made mandatory as an accurate database of children with UIDs will be beneficial to track their progress, especially in government schools, besides eliminating child labour.

Further, the paper observes that registering new births will be a challenging task as approximately 60,000 babies are born in the country every day.

Since their biometrics is not stable, the document says they have to be re-scanned later. As names are often not given at the time of the registration of birth, the child’s biometrics should be taken at the age of five, and it should be updated every five years until the age of 18.

One way to resolve the issue, according to the paper, is to ensure that the UID number is included in the infant’s birth certificate as the number will remain the key identifier throughout the individual’s life. Likewise, it says the child should be named before applying for the UID number to ensure it can also be allotted at birth.

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