Students will now be required to have an Aadhaar number for getting their midday meals across the country. The HRD ministry issued a notification in this regard on the last day of February. Cook-cum-helpers working under the midday meal scheme will also have to furnish Aadhaar number. This rule will be applicable across the country, except Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam.
However, the ministry has given time till June 30 for those who are not yet enrolled. “The use of Aadhaar as identity document for delivery of services, benefits or subsidies simplifies the government delivery process and enables beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly and in a seamless manner,” reads the notification.
According to the ministry, the move is aimed at ensuring greater transparency and to increase overall efficiency. Of the total enrollment of 13.16 crore children, 10.03 crore children availed midday meal on an average basis in 11.50 lakh schools during 2015-16. The Central government has been trying to link the Aadhaar number with subsidy schemes related to school education.