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Maharashtra to identify bogus students by issuing Aadhar cards to all school students in the state

MUMBAI: A month after a survey revealed that lakhs of "bogus" students were enrolled in schools across the state, school education department minister Rajendra Darda has drafted a policy to effectively deal with the problem that has cost the government Rs 10,000 crore over the past 10 years.

"To ensure that no fake name is registered on the roll of any school, it has been proposed that 'Aadhar' ( unique ID) cards will be issued to all students, a biometric system for attendance will be started and an online application will be launched to track pupils in school. We hope to introduce the measures from the next academic year," a senior bureaucrat told TOI on Saturday. However, he added that it was still undecided how to book errant managements and officials of the department who have been indulging in the corrupt practice. "We are yet to find a way to punish corrupt school managements, as most of them are controlled by leading politicians. It is for the state cabinet to take a decision," he said.

Once the cabinet comes up with measures to identify dishonest schools, the bureaucrat said cases would be registered against the managements as well as education department officials who would be booked for cheating and fraud.

The school education department provides free midday meals, books and uniforms to students in aided schools. In a state-wide survey, it was found that of the 2.15 crore-and-odd students enrolled in 1.87 lakh schools, 20.7 lakh were bogus names that were used to take financial assistance from the government. "They were absent in school and even during subsequent checks, they could not be traced. So, they were marked 'bogus'. One and all are involved in the multicrore scam that has cost the government Rs 10,000 crore in the past 10 years," he said. "Let the cabinet first take a decision, we will act accordingly."

The bureaucrat warned that if action is taken against errant managements, "services of well over 1,500 teachers will be terminated". "We will save more than Rs 1,000 crore per year," he added.


Wednesday , 30   November , 2011