Devbrat Patnaik

The Supreme Court Wednesday declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.

The SC ruled it would not be mandatory for school admissions, as also for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission.

However, it remains to be seen whether the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) continue the scheme of verifying the identity of candidates applying for their forthcoming exams through Aadhaar cards.

As per a notification by the RRB earlier, ascertaining the identities of candidates during examination is critical for fair conduct of RRB examinations and prevention of attempts at impersonation. It is also a hassle free and convenient mode of verification for the candidates.

The provisions of Aadhaar Act and the Regulations under the Act have come into effect from 14 September 2016 and notifications to this effect have been published in the Official Gazette. Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act 2016 permits the use of Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose pursuant to any law or any contract to this effect.

Accordingly, candidates desiring to apply for employment in the Railways, are requested to acquire Aadhaar Cards and may furnish their 12 digit Aadhaar number at the time of filling up the online application form. Such candidates who have enrolled for Aadhaar but have not received Aadhaar Card may furnish 28 digit Aadhaar Enrollment ID printed at the Aadhaar Enrolment slip. The Aadhaar number will be used to match the finger prints taken through biometric attendance system at the time and venue of the examination, with that stored on the Aadhaar server to establish correct identity of the candidate.

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Candidates desiring to apply for posts in the Railways are requested to visit the Aadhaar Enrollment Centers at the earliest and get them enrolled for Aadhaar.

The above provision is applicable in all states and Union Territories of India except the state of Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam. Applicants from these states may enter in the online application form, their voter ID number, valid passport number, driving license number or any other valid Government identity Card number at the time of applying for future RRB recruitments.