Sunday, 15 July, 2018

Aadhaar not must for entrance tests like NEET: Centre to SC

Aadhaar Deadline Could be Extended Beyond March 31 Centre Tells Supreme Court Aadhaar not must for entrance tests like NEET: Centre to SC
Melissa Porter | 08 March, 2018, 05:06

The Supreme Court yesterday said the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will not insist on Aadhaar identification for NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) and other all-India examinations.

The UIDAIs remarks came on a plea challenging the decision of CBSE seeking the Aadhaar number or Aadhaar enrolment number mandatorily from students who are aspiring to take up the NEET 2018 examination.

The hearing saw Justice Chandrachud telling the government that the deadline on linking of Aadhaar with various schemes including bank accounts and income tax returns concerned the entire financial system and people could not live in uncertainty over extension of deadline.

However, Mr. Venugopal subsequently changed tack and said the UIDAI had never authorised the CBSE to issue this notification making Aadhaar mandatory for NEET aspirants.

In a brief order the Supreme Court bench said students appearing for Neet examination or any other all India competitive examination need not necessarily produce their Aadhaar card as they can produce any other proof of identity for taking the examination.

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra hearing a bunch of petitions against the Aadhaar law that the Centre had extended the deadline in the past too and it can do so again. The current deadline is less than a month away and the aadhaar case is unlikely to be decided in the apex court before that.

Senior advocate Arvind Datar, who argued against the Aadhaar scheme, said it violated the fundamental rights of citizens.

The court extended the ambit of this order to not just NEET 2018 but all other all-India exams scheduled for the near future.

The statement of the Centre comes a few days after industry body Assocham urged the government to relax the deadline for linking the Aadhaar IDs with bank accounts, especially with public sector banks. He pleaded that an interim order be passed extending the deadline from March 31 to at least April 30. The AG had earlier said the deadline could be extended if the court hearing on validity of Aadhaar spilled over to April. He will resume his arguments on Wednesday.