The Union Ministry of India has launched an initiative to introduce ‘One Nation, One Student ID’ for school students nationwide, providing them with a lifelong identification number to track their academic progress and achievements.
The Union Education Ministry has recently instructed states to seek parental consent for initiating the enrollment process for this program, which is known as Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry (APAAR).
What is APAAR?
The Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry (APAAR), commonly referred to as ‘One Nation, One Student ID,’ serves as an Education Ecosystem Registry or an ‘EduLocker.’ This initiative was established in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020, aiming to assign unique ID numbers to school students across India.
In May of this year, Dr Anil Sahasrabuddhe, the head of the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) and former AICTE chairman, mentioned the development of a registry for the entire educational ecosystem, encompassing students, teachers, schools, and colleges.
NEFT, established under the Ministry of Education as an autonomous body, focuses on addressing educational gaps and promoting technology-based interventions in the education sector.
APAAR will allocate a unique identification number to each student, spanning from pre-primary to higher education. This ID complements the existing Aadhaar ID that all individuals possess.
Schools will be responsible for the enrollment process, contingent upon parental consent, which can be withdrawn at any time. The government has assured that the data will only be shared with relevant government agencies as necessary.
Data collected by schools on each student will be stored in a centralized District Information for Education portal.
Benefits for Students
The APAAR, as a lifelong ID number, offers students the convenience of monitoring their academic journey and accomplishments. They can digitally store their exam results, learning outcomes, and co-curricular achievements, such as Olympiad rankings or specialized skills.
Furthermore, this initiative facilitates the seamless transfer of students from one school to another, as all necessary admission documents can be obtained from a single source.
Challenges and Concerns
Amid ongoing concerns about the security of Aadhaar data and numerous data breaches, some individuals have expressed reservations regarding the initiation of the APAAR registration process.
On the other hand, school authorities have raised concerns about the existing pending Aadhaar verification of students, which remains optional. The addition of the APAAR registry may increase the administrative workload for teaching faculty.