EWS Entry: Aadhaar Norm Puts Parents in a Tight Corner in Delhi

The registration for admission under the economically weaker section/disadvantaged (EWS/DG) category in private schools will begin on February 10. The compulsory requirement of Aadhaar cards for children has, however, put many poor parents in a spot.

Issuing the admission notification, the directorate of education (DoE) stated, “A single application shall be filed by an individual applicant for the online admission process. Multiple applications filed by any individual applicant shall lead to the cancellation of the candidature of the applicant, even after succeeding in the draw of lots for admission. Also, in accordance with a circular dated July 12, 2022, which was issued by the director of education, it is mandatory to submit the Aadhaar number of the child in online applications to avoid duplicity of EWS/DG/CWSN application from session 2023-24.”A father, who lives in an unauthorised colony in Seemapuri in northeast Delhi, said, “People who have taken admission earlier under the quota said that my Aadhaar card would be enough. Now, I don’t know how to go and make my child’s. My child was not born in Delhi, so I do not have his birth certificate also.”

Ekramul Haque of Mission Taleem, who has been helping parents with filling out the online form for the EWS/DG category, claimed that the schools now may deny admission to such kids. “It is important to understand that they are poor parents who want to ensure that their children study in a good school. But the government wants to overburden them with more documents. Having to make Aadhaar will mean they will have to take a day off. There are some other ways of checking duplication also,” said Haque.

Those applying under the EWS category have to submit an income certificate too. For DG and CWSN (children with special needs) categories, income certificate is not required.

Till now, as address proof, DoE was allowing electricity bill, phone bill, water bill, voters ID, ration card and Aadhaar card of parents. In 2018, Delhi High Court had ruled that it was not mandatory to give Aadhaar and voter ID details of the child along with that of the parent.

Along with Aadhaar being compulsory, some changes have been made in the distance criteria too. The allotment of school will be revised to 0-3km as first preference, as against the existing 0-1km.

Since the 2016-17 academic session, DoE has been conducting online admission for the 25% reserved category seats in private schools. Article 12(1)(C) of the Right to Education Act mandates the reservation. In Delhi, out of the 25% seats, 3% seats are reserved for CWSN.

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