4.4 Lakh Ghost Students Exposed by Aadhaar
Ghost beneficiaries of mid-day meal scheme
Last month the Union Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) made the Aadhaar unique identification number compulsory for students to get mid-day meals. Under the scheme, the government provides free lunch to students from Class 1 to 8 on working days.
Aadhaar proves useful
Activists reacted strongly to this move claiming that this may result in the exclusion of beneficiaries from the scheme. However this move proved useful as 4.4 lakh ghost students were exposed, who exist only on paper. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Manipur and Jharkhand have cut off the names of these students. An HRD official said that the process of putting together data from various states is still on. However he confirmed that available figures clearly show fake enrolment of students in government schools.
Statement by UIDIA’s CEO
ABP Pandey, CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) stated that making the Aadhaar number compulsory will not only help identify non-existent beneficiaries. Instead it will also ensure that the benefits meant for a particular student do not fail to reach him/her. By checking such leakages, the states will now have more resources to improve school facilities.
Government applauds Aadhaar linkage
A government statement issued on March 7 stated clearly that Aadhaar linkage has helped save around Rs 49,000 crore by checking leakages in LPG, MGNREGA, pension and scholarship schemes over the last two and a half years.