Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan criticised the Centre on Monday for making Aadhaar card mandatory for school children to avail midday meals.
Calling the move ‘strange and objectionable’, the Kerala CM said, “It is difficult to understand the intentions of the MHRD while making this decision. They claim that the aim is to increase efficiency and transparency, but midday meals are given to school children and it is the responsibility of the government to feed the children,” Vijayan told reporters.
“How will Aadhar bring in efficiency and transparency? This decision will only create technical issue,” Vijayan said in his Facebook post.
According to official figures, of the total 13.16 crore children in India, 10.03 crore children in 11.50 lakh schools are beneficiaries of the midday meal scheme.
“These children are given food because they are school students. This move will lead to more students dropping out from school. The central government must revoke this decision,” Vijayan wrote.
Not only school students who are given midday meals, the move by the Department of School Education and Literacy will make it mandatory for persons preparing midday meals to also have Aadhaar cards.
According to a media report, 11 other schemes across ministries were made Aadhaar compliant. These 11 schemes include scholarships for disabled citizens and professional training for victims of crimes against women.
The order comes even as the Supreme Court ruled in October 2015 that Aadhar cannot be made mandatory.