The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Monday directed its registrars and associated agencies to enrol all candidates taking the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and other engineering schools, by early January.
The move follows the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) decision to make it mandatory for all JEE candidates to provide either their 12-digit Aadhaar number or the 28-digit Aadhaar enrolment receipt number in their application forms.
CBSE, under the ministry of human resource development (HRD), conducts the JEE-Main test. The JEE-Main is the first of the two-tier entrance system for selection of students to the prestigious IITs, National Institutes Technology (NITs) and other leading engineering schools in the country.
More than 1.2 million aspirants sit for the JEE-Main examination every year. The online application process will start on 1 December for JEE 2017. The last date for registration of applications is 2 January and fees can be paid up to 3 January.
“UIDAI has directed all its registrars and enrolment agencies to enrol JEE applicants on a priority basis,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey, chief executive of UIDAI, said.
He said that in order to facilitate Aadhaar enrolment on a priority basis for JEE applicants, UIDAI has asked its regional offices to make necessary arrangements at its enrolment centres and also at facilitation centres in each city of examination being set up by the CBSE, till the last date of application.
CBSE has said in its JEE-Main website that all Indian citizens, except those from Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya, should possess an Aadhaar card issued by UIDAI.
“At the time of filling the application form of JEE (Main)-2017, the candidates will have to enter their Aadhaar number, name, date of birth and gender, which will be validated with the UIDAI’s data. In case, these particulars do not match, the candidates will not be able to fill the application form for JEE (Main)-2017,” CBSE said.
Making Aadhaar mandatory for JEE enrolment has multiple benefits. For one, the move will curb fake enrolment and thus reduce the chance of malpractices during the entrance examination, considered one of the toughest in India.
Besides, Aadhaar linkage will help track the educational progress of candidates and subsequently help the government’s digital academic repository move that aims to digitize education records at all levels from school boards onward.
The digital repository, where the 12-digit UID number would play a key role, is expected to help employers verify education credentials to reduce job application fraud.
Pandey said that neither UIDAI centres nor its empanelled agencies will charge any fee from the applicants. UIDAI has already issued more than 108.27 crore Aadhaar numbers.