Facing Opposition fury over Aadhaar for mid-day meal, government says benefits to continue without card

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) had earlier said students will now have to provide their Aadhaar card number to get mid-day meals.

No one will be deprived of benefits for the lack of Aadhaar card and people can use alternate means of identification, the government said.

The statement comes in the wake of the recent notification of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) that said students will now have to provide their Aadhaar card number to get mid-day meals.

The Opposition had slammed the move with Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee saying this was tantamount to "snatching the rights of children".

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HERE IS WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAID ON AADHAAR:

  1. Till an Aadhaar number is assigned to a person, the benefits will continue based on alternate means of identification.
  2. The government has also directed departments to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to their beneficiaries under Regulation 12 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations 2016.
  3. In case of mid-day meal scheme and under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), schools and anganwadis will collect the Aadhaar number of the children beneficiaries.
  4. If a child does not have an Aadhaar numer, the school or the ICDS functionary will have to get the child enrolled under Aadhaar. Till the time the Aadhaar number is not assigned, the child will continue to get the benefits.
  5. Trying to fend off the criticism it received following the HRD Ministry notification on mid-day meal scheme, the government said that "while these orders require beneficiaries of these programmes to give their Aadhaar number, it has also been ensured that no one is deprived of the benefits for want of Aadhaar".
  6. Some reports had said that government was planning to make Aadhaar mandatory for all 84 schemes under the direct subsidy benefit transfer programme. Checking leakage and bringing transparency in the delivery system were cited as the reasons by the government for making Aadhaar mandatory for several schemes.

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