Aadhaar Seva kendra. (Source: Aadhaar Official Account/Facebook) 

Aadhaar Not Mandatory For NEET, Other All-India Exams: Supreme Court

Aadhaar will not be a mandatory requirement to appear for NEET or other all-India exams, the Supreme Court of India today clarified.

The court asked the Attorney General for India KK Venugopal for the government’s stance after a plea challenging the decision of Central Board of Secondary Education seeking the Aadhaar number or Aadhaar enrolment number mandatorily from students appearing for the NEET 2018 examination. The Attorney General informed the court that Aadhaar issuing body UIDAI has given no such instructions. He added that the option to provide alternate identity proofs such as passport, driving licence, ration card etc. will also be provided.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra is currently adjudicating on the challenge to the Aadhaar scheme and the Aadhaar Act and hearing all related matters.

The petitioners also raised the issue of extending the deadline to link Aadhaar with facilities such as bank accounts and mobile phones as well as welfare schemes. Justice Chandrachud observed that the extension must be done much before the current March 31, 2018 deadline.

In the main hearing, Senior Advocate P Chidamabaram has started arguments on behalf of petitioners. His argument will focus on the challenge related to the introduction and passing of the Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill. “The definition of Money Bill should be construed narrowly so that nothing escapes in the guise of a Money Bill,’’ said Chidamabram in his brief argument today,

The hearing will continue on March 13.