March 31 deadline for Aadhaar linking may be extended: Centre to SC

March 31 deadline for Aadhaar linking may be extended: Centre to SC

In a big relief for aspirants, Supreme Court in an interim order has said that Aadhaar is not mandatory for students to enrol in National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) and other competitive exams.

A 5-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, comprising of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, that are hearing petitions contesting the validity of the Aadhaar, agreed with the AG's contention.

In response, Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench that his instruction was that the UIDAI had not authorised CBSE to make Aadhaar mandatory for students.

Instead, the candidates can use any valid ID including Driving License, Ration Card, Voter ID, Passport or Bank Account to register for such exams. Along with NEET, Supreme Court said that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for similar other competitive exams.

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Meanwhile, the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail various services and welfare schemes run by the government may be further extended beyond March 31.

The UIDAIs remarks came on a plea challenging the decision of CBSE seeking the Aadhaar number or Aadhaar enrolment number mandatorily from students who are aspiring to take up the NEET 2018 examination. The five-judge bench passed this as an interim order. The deadline for mandatory linkage has now been extended to 31 March, 2018. The deadline to register for NEET is March 9. If you extend the deadline at the last moment then it will create a lot of confusion as it is the end of the financial year and banks have to ensure compliance, the court also said.

In 2017 December 15, the summit court had stretched out until March 31 the due date for compulsory link of Aadhaar with different services and welfare plans.

In a brief order the Bench said students appearing for NEET or any other all India competitive examination need not necessarily produce Aadhaar as they can produce any other identity for taking the examination.

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