Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Advancing Education: India’s ‘One Nation, One Student ID’ Initiative Expands to Schools

Advancing Education: India’s ‘One Nation, One Student ID’ Initiative Expands to Schools

In a significant stride towards educational integration, the Indian government is poised to extend its ‘One Nation, One Student ID’ initiative to schools, aligning with the vision outlined in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Officials indicate that this move will foster seamless connectivity between school and higher education.

The cornerstone of this initiative is the Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry (APAAR) card, featuring a unique 12-digit ID. Originally launched in higher education, the APAAR ID, an Aadhaar-verified system, serves as a gateway to the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC), a digital repository of students’ academic credits. Notably, over 22 million students have already been issued APAAR IDs in higher education.

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The extension of APAAR to schools aims to create a lifelong academic identifier for students, spanning from pre-primary to Ph.D. The APAAR ID not only streamlines academic records but also provides access to Digilocker, a digital storage facility for essential documents like mark sheets and certificates.

Anil Sahasrabuddhe, the chairperson of the National Educational Technology Forum, emphasizes that the initiative will simplify tracking students’ academic progress throughout their educational journey. This proves particularly beneficial for students whose parents have transferable jobs, allowing a smooth transition between schools while maintaining academic continuity.

The initiative aligns with the introduction of the National Credit Framework (NCrF), encompassing school and vocational education. Under NCrF, students will accrue credits from the school level, stored in their ABC accounts. This centralized approach aims to enhance administrative efficiency, data accuracy, and resource allocation in the education sector.

While experts welcome the initiative for its potential to streamline processes, they also caution against privacy concerns. Jyoti Arora, principal at Mount Abu Public School, underscores the importance of addressing data security and privacy risks. Since APAAR is Aadhaar-verified, schools must obtain parental consent, recognizing that school students are minors.

An innovative step toward educational reform, the ‘One Nation, One Student ID’ initiative signals a paradigm shift in how India manages student information, laying the groundwork for a more connected and efficient education system. As the discussions with state governments progress, careful consideration of privacy safeguards will be paramount in realizing the full potential of this transformative initiative.

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