Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry (APAAR) is a new unique student identity system introduced by the Indian government as a part of the ‘One Nation One Student ID’ project. This is also referred to as ‘EduLocker’. The Ministry of Education (MoE) introduced this system of creating lifelong ID numbers for students.
Every student from pre-primary through higher education in private and government schools would receive a unique identification number that would act as a digital record of their academic accomplishments, test scores, student’s personal details including name, address, date of birth, gender, photo, sports activities, education loans, scholarships and other credits. This identity will be authenticated through the students’ AADHAR number or other official document.
- Storage of academic records: APAAR allows students to record and manage their academic performances digitally. This prevents issues faced by students after losing their academic documents. They make it easy for students to apply for higher education or jobs.
- Record of Extra-curricular achievements: APAAR also records achievements such as rankings in Olympiads, specialised skill training, etc.,
This eases the process of admission of a student for transfer from one to another school or educational institution as the registry has all the academic details in it.
The credit score given through the card can be used for higher education.
Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) was launched following discussions in the National Education Policy (NEP). This issues the APAAR card and allows the students to access the benefits associated with the card.
ABC registration is to be done through DigiLocker. ABC Card or APAAR ID card registration is to be done on abc.gov.in website. The DigiLocker account creation requires mobile number and Aadhar card number. The details of class or course, and educational institutions are to be filled. The card gets generated once the details are filled and the same is to be downloaded.
Concerns and Challenges
This unique APAAR ID card is an addition to the already existing Aadhaar ID that every student has. The need for APAAR ID is a raising question now.
There were several instances of data breaches in the country and Aadhar’s data security is already a question that raised concerns about APAAR data security.
The Education Ministry recently directed the schools to initiate the process of APAAR. As the first step, the schools were asked to get consent from the parents for the issuance of new identity cards to the students. The consent form reads, “I am also aware that my personally identifiable information (name, address, age, date of birth, gender, and photograph) may be made available to entities engaged in various educational activities, such as the UDISE+ database, scholarships, maintenance of academic records, and other stakeholders like educational institutions and recruitment agencies”, reported Hindustan Times.
Though it is said that the APAAR ID process will be started only after getting parents’ consent, it is said that there is no option to deny consent. It is also mentioned that parents can withdraw their consent at any time. However, the data processed before the withdrawal of the consent will remain unaffected.
Indian Express reported that a teacher said that the consent form mentions that the data stored will be made available to entities engaged in various educational activities and in the list it mentions educational institutions and recruitment agencies.
Schools also worry that parents hesitate to sign the consent form without fully knowing about the scheme as there is a lack of awareness about the APAAR ID.
School authorities and teachers have raised the issue of already pending Aadhaar verification of students. Some schools say that they have just completed the students’ Aadhar verification process. The addition of the APAAR registry increases the administrative burden on the teaching faculty.