New Delhi: The Directorate of Education, government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, is collecting personal data of students enrolled in government schools and government-aided and recognised unaided schools in the city. The data will be used to build a comprehensive student data module and ascertain the number of students from other states enrolled in Delhi schools.
According to a circular issued on September 14 by the directorate, Delhi schools have been directed to collect ‘comprehensive information’ of their students for the purpose of a ‘data bank’. The directive to schools mentions that the data from the students will be analysed for ‘various purposes of the Department.’
An official from the Directorate of Education told News18 that the information gathering was being done for a student data module. “The primary purpose is the completion of student data module. We also want to ascertain the number of outstation students studying in Delhi. Many students from outside Delhi get admission in Delhi schools and benefit from scholarship, and consequently many students from Delhi miss out,” the official said.
According to the official, the data gathering includes the Aadhaar data of the enrolled students, their parents and siblings. “We need Aadhaar of family members to ascertain if they are from other states. They could have made the enrolled student’s Aadhaar in Delhi, so we are asking the Aadhaar details of the students’ families as well,” the official said.
This, the official said, is the secondary purpose of the data collection directive. “We want to estimate if there’s a problem, and if there is one, how should we deal with it,” the official said. According to him, there were about 15 lakh students in Delhi three years ago. The number has dropped by one lakh. Many students enrol in two schools with their Aadhaar number to avail scholarship benefits from both schools, the official pointed out.
With the help of the data set, the number of such students could be ascertained. “We want to know if the drop in number of students is because something is lacking from our side or because of fraudulent Aadhaar enrolments. Because many enrolments have been cancelled due to duplication of Aadhaar details in two schools,” the official said.
While the schools collect information from students during enrolment, it is not as comprehensive as the one requested by the directive now. “Besides the names and details of students’ families, the directive has also asked for Aadhaar data of students and their families. This is different from the data we usually collect from the enrolled students,” said an official from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya in Lodi Estate on the condition of anonymity. “We have never undertaken a task such as this. It will take some time to collect the data,” the official added.
Regarding concerns about the security of the data, the Directorate of Education official said the data module would be as secure or as vulnerable as the Aadhaar itself.