In a move that will bring relief to many students worried about their scholarship/fellowship prospects, the University Grants Commission (UGC) declared on Wednesday that Aadhaar card is not mandatory while applying to avail those benefits.
The announcement came through an official circular by UGC deputy secretary Dr. Sunita Siwach. It read: “Any student who have applied or wishing to apply for scholarship/fellowship shall not be denied benefit thereof due to non availability of Aadhaar card”.
However, those without an Aadhaar card must produce an alternate means of verification of their identity and bank account.
The whole controversy started on July 20 when UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu sent a letter to all universities and institutes implying that Aadhaar card had been made “mandatory for disbursement of all government subsidies, scholarships and fellowships” for fiscal 2016-17.
The circular also mentioned that UGC was planning to switch to DBT mode for disbursing the scholarships and the host institutions would be responsible for filling and verifying the requisite data.
It also asked all UGC scholars and fellows who don’t possess an Aadhaar card to immediately get in touch with the Regional Offices of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). As for those who had already applied online for the year, they were asked to update their application form immediately.