NSF objects to implementation of APAAR in Nagaland, raises privacy concerns

Kohima: Federation urges school education department to suspend launch of ‘One Nation, One Student ID’ initiative in Nagaland

BY | Wednesday, 1 November, 2023

Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) on Wednesday wrote to the Chief Secretary of Nagaland stating its objection on the implementation of the Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry (APAAR), also referred to as ‘One Nation, One Student ID’, in Nagaland.

The Federation reaffirmed its “staunch opposition” to the introduction of APAAR, an Education Ecosystem Registry known as ‘EduLocker’, which it said may pose “unprecedented threat to the rights and privacy of students while also adding unnecessary burdens to educational institutions.”

APAAR, proposed by the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF), seeks to assign a unique identification number to every student from pre-primary to higher education, in addition to their existing Aadhaar ID.

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NSF further stated that though the government presents ‘One Nation, One Student ID’ initiative as a solution for seamless tracking of academic progress and achievements, several significant concerns have come to light:

Data Security: There are persistent concerns related to data security and privacy breaches associated with Aadhaar, which have not been adequately addressed. In a time when data breaches are becoming increasingly common, the addition of another layer of data collection and storage without comprehensive security measures is indeed worrisome.

Administrative Burden: Our educational institutions are already grappling with administrative burdens, including the optional Aadhaar verification of students. The introduction of the APAAR registry would only exacerbate the workload of teaching faculty and staff, potentially impacting the quality of education.

The Federation further raised doubts of the government’s assurance that data will be shared only with relevant government agencies and therefore pressed for “a wider and comprehensive consultation with all stakeholders: wherein, we strongly advocate for prioritization of data security, immediately address administrative challenges, and engage in an inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders, inclusive of parents, students and educational institutions.”

NSF urged the school education department to suspend the launch of APAAR or ‘One Nation, One Student ID’ in Nagaland until “a more robust and privacy-conscious solution for tracking students’ academic progress” is developed through “a consultative and collaborative approach”. The Federation also appealed educational institutions not to compulsorily impose the exercise upon students and parents.

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