Indian government backtracks on mid-day meal order, says Aadhaar card not mandatory
Representative image: Children assemble in front of a school converted into a refugee shelter January 11, 2002 in Akhnoor, 20 miles southwest of Jammu, the capital of Kashmir. Photograph: (Getty)
Facing flak for making Aadhar card mandatory to get mid-day meals at schools, the Indian government made a u-turn by cancelling the order on Tuesday.
In a statement, the government said that no one will be deprived of benefits for lack of Aadhaar.
"Till Aadhaar number is assigned to any individual, the benefit will continue to be given based on alternate means of identification." the statement said.
The government also directed the departments to provide Aadhaar enrolment facilities to their beneficiaries under Regulation 12 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations 2016.
"In case of Mid -day Meal scheme and under the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the schools and Anganwadis have been asked to collect the Aadhaar number of the children beneficiaries and in case a child does not have Aadhaar, the school or ICDS functionary will be required to provide enrollment facilities to a child and till Aadhaar number is assigned, the benefits will be continue." the government added in the statement.