The state schools will soon have to introduce the Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry or ‘APAAR’ dubbed as ‘One Nation, One Student ID’. The APAAR, a lifelong ID number for students, meant for seamless tracking of their academic journey and achievements, will give each student enrolled from pre-primary to higher education, a unique identification number. The students will be able to digitally store their examination results, learning outcomes, co-curricular and much more.
Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Education told
- “We do not want to miss out on any student in our system. If every student has a unique ID then that would come to their rescue to have a detailed academic record. This also gives us a chance to track the holistic progress of a student. If one goes for a job later in his life, the company can verify their certificates. The ID will also ensure that there is no fraud, no duplication of certificates.”
- “A child has to show his birth certificate at the time of school admission. A unique APAAR ID will be created using the birth certificate which will be linked to the DigiLocker. So, all your academic certificates and scholastic aptitude documents will be accessible through this APAAR ID. We are also going to request the parents to get their consent to link this APAAR ID with the Aadhaar ID,” he adds.
- “The APAAR initiative will help keep the uniqueness and authenticity of an individual. A student can carry all the credits or all the subjects that has learnt in this unique location. It is an academic bank of credit. It also helps in easy transmission of students’ records from one school to the other.
- This also helps avoid possibilities of fake certificates or impersonation,” says National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe, adding, “This phenomenon is going to grow as we go along. This is a lifelong ID that one will remain with the student whether he has stopped his studies or plans to resume at any point in life.”
Consent from parents
- The ministry has directed the states to obtain the consent of parents in all schools under their respective jurisdiction to initiate the APAAR enrolment process. The government has assured that the data will remain confidential.
- “The introduction of APAAR is a significant step towards streamlining the education system. It will greatly benefit students by ensuring that their academic records are easily accessible and transferable across states. Sometimes it’s difficult for students to transfer the credits from the previous educational institution, leading them to repeat that course or year to get the credits counted,” says Maithili Tambe, CEO of The Academy School (TAS).
- “TAS is fully supportive of the APAAR initiative. We believe it will simplify the academic record-keeping process. While there might be an initial adjustment period, we anticipate that over time, it will reduce the administrative burden on teaching faculty by making data management more efficient,” she says.
- Many people have raised concerns about the APAAR registration process because of Aadhaar’s data security, and the numerous instances of data breaches.
- “Data security is a valid concern, and it’s important to ensure that the APAAR system is secure and compliant with all data protection regulations. We hope that the government takes appropriate measures to address these concerns and safeguard student data,” says Tambe, adding, “It’s essential to strike a balance between data security and the benefits of a centralized student ID system”.
- The schools had been directed to hold special parent-teacher meetings from October 16-18 to apprise parents about the APAAR ID and create awareness. While some parents have responded well, others are clueless about the government initiative. “We have not yet received any notice from the school on this issue,” says a parent of a class III student in Mumbai.
- “The parents’ response to the APAAR ID and the parent-teacher meetings has been generally positive. Many parents have appreciated the transparency and accessibility it offers in terms of their child’s academic records. However, some concerns have been raised, and we are actively addressing those to ensure that parents feel confident and informed about this initiative,” says Tambe, adding, “The introduction of APAAR will enhance educational transparency, mobility, and data management, benefiting students, schools, and the education system.”
- “For students, this system offers a streamlined and standardized approach to academic records, making it easier to access. It ensures the portability of academic records across states and institutions, reducing administrative hassles during transitions,” says Shikha Banerjee, principal, of Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Kanpur.
“It can lead to improved efficiency in managing student records, allowing educators to focus more on teaching instead of administrative work. While there may be some initial challenges, this would be an opportunity for growth and improvement,” she says.
Talking about the data breaches, Banerjee says, “The concerns about data security and potential data breaches surrounding the initiation of the APAAR registration process are valid. In the digital age, data breaches and cyber threats are challenges that need to be addressed. However, it is important to recognize that digitization, despite its risks, also brings many benefits. The government and educational institutions must implement robust security measures and encryption protocols to safeguard student data. It’s essential to strike a balance between embracing technological advancements and ensuring data security.”