Stop making Aadhaar mandatory for scholarship schemes, SC tells Centre
The top court responded to a writ petition objecting to government attempts to make the card compulsory on the National Scholarship Portal.
Aadhaar, is "purely voluntary and cannot be made mandatory" the Supreme Court said on Friday, reaffirming its order from October 14, 2015. This view stands till the court comes out with a new decision on the issue, the bench said. The judges were responding to a writ petition that raised objections to the government reportedly making the Aadhar card submission mandatory when applying for certain scholarship schemes. The court asked the Union government to follow its orders and desist from doing so.
The petition was filed by the All-Bengal Minority Students Council and ANR. The court has directed the chief justice of India to form a bench to hear matters related to the biometric identity scheme. The government has also been directed to stop making Aadhar mandatory for pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means scholarship schemes and has been asked to remove the Aadhaar number as a "mandatory condition for student registration" on the National Scholarship Portal.
The Indian government is also reportedly pushing global technology giants to embed the Aadhaar programme with their devices. The biometric programme has faced stiff opposition that claims it violates citizens' privacy and could hurt national security efforts.