Beginning 1 July, more than a 100 million school children will compulsorily need Aadhaar to avail their mid-day meal
New Delhi: More than a 100 million school children will compulsorily need Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identification number of India, to avail their mid-day meal from 1 July.
The central government has issued a gazette notification dated 28 February to effect the change. Though the direction comes into effect from the date of the notification, it has given children and their parent’s time till 30 June to get the Aadhaar in case they don’t have one so far.
“Individuals desirous of availing the benefits under the (mid-day-meal) Scheme offered at the Schools are required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication," reads the gazette notification, which is public now. “And individual desirous of availing the benefit under the Scheme offered at the Schools, who does not possess an Aadhaar number or has not yet enrolled for Aadhaar shall have to apply for Aadhaar enrolment by 30th June, 2017," said the notification.
News website Scroll first reported the development on Friday.
At least 10.03 crore elementary students (Class 1-8) studying in 1.15 million schools are now benefiting from the scheme that deploys 2.53 million part time workers for its implementations, as per official data.
Between March and June 30, a student who does not have an Aadhaar, however, can avail the benefit provided:
(i) he or she has the Aadhaar enrolment ID slip or
(ii) has a copy of his/her request made for Aadhaar enrolment or
(iii) gives an undertaking by the parent or legal guardian that the child is not availing the benefit from any other school.
Besides, parents have to furnish proof of relationship of the child with the parent or legal guardian, by submitting documents like a birth certificate, passport, ration card, bank passbook, employee state insurance corporation ID or a photo id issued by a gazette officer or a school principal.
“Provided further that the above documents shall be checked by an officer specially designated by the Department in the State Government or Union territory administration for that purpose," the gazette notification said. The notification exempts Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir from the requirement at least for now.
Mid-day meal is a flagship central government scheme that aims to provide some amount of nutrition to students in government schools, special training centres and Madrasas supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Central and state governments share the financial burden in the 60:40 ratio except that it is 90:10 for eight north-eastern states and three Himalayan states—Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
The mid-day meal programme has been allocated Rs10,000 crore in the 2017-18 Union Budget, up by Rs300 crore from the previous budget.