Don't print Aadhaar number on certificates: UGC

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, prohibits publishing and displaying the Aadhaar number publicly, the higher education regulator noted in the latest communication to all university vice-chancellors. File photo

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked universities not to print Aadhaar number of students on their degrees and other certificates.

The UGC has admitted that the printing of students' unique identification number on their academic documents would lead to a breach of their security and confidentiality.

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, prohibits publishing and displaying the Aadhaar number publicly, the higher education regulator noted in the latest communication to all university vice-chancellors.

“Printing of Aadhaar number on degree/certificate of a resident would be accessible to multiple people, thereby breaching the security and confidentiality of the Aadhaar numbers would be in violation of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 and regulations framed thereunder,” UGC secretary Rajnish Jain stated in the circular.

The course correction comes from the UGC more than a year after it issued a directive to all vice-chancellors, asking them to take “immediate action” to ensure that students’ degrees, mark sheets and other academic certificates carry their Aadhaar numbers along with photographs.

“Such inscriptions, you would agree, will go a long way in uniformly marking a student's personal identity and other associated details,” the commission had said in its directive to all universities on March 21, 2017.

It was not known if any of the universities have issued degrees and other academic certificates to their students printing their Aadhaar number on these documents in compliance to the UGC directive issued last year.

This is not the first time that the higher education regulator has revoked its directive on public display of Aadhaar number of the students.

In September 2016, the commission had sought all universities to publish the Aadhaar number along with other details of their research scholars on their respective websites.

It later revoked its directive in May 2017, asking the vice-chancellors not to publish the unique identification number of the PhD students, amid reports about leakage of Aadhar data.

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Don't print Aadhaar number on certificates: UGC

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