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e-Punjab portal exposes drop-out of more than one lakh students on linking of data with aadhar cards
Ferozepur, June 12, 2017: On the entry of students' data from Primary to plus two after being linked with their aadhar cards, which is now available on e-Punjab Schools Portal of Punjab Education Department, has exposed that an alarming number of almost 1 lakh students have dropped out.

Statistics from the sources of U-DISE (Unified – District Information System for Education) shows that the total students in government and private schools on rolls during 2013-14 were 55,65,146. During 2014-15, the figure increased to 55,93,499. However, after aadhar card data was linked with it, the number came down to 55,41,399 in 2015-16 with dropping out of 52,100 students and during 2016-17, it further went down to 54,88,692 with a loss of students on rolls to the extent of 52,700.

However, there was an increase in admissions of students in 2014-15 (55,65,147) of 28,352 against 55,65,147 during 2013-14.

There are different versions available about the dropping out of on-roll students. On anonymity, one senior teacher informed that it was due to fact that instructions were issued to enroll all the children in the village in the school, irrespective of whether they attended classes or not.

Another version says that the dropping out of students was due to linking of student's admission with the aadhar cards and the students who don't have an aadhar card could not figure on the e-Punjab portal.

In fact, sources also said that many students were having dual admission in private as well as government schools which could be the reason behind the students missing from the records.

This revelation has raised a number of questions, and the primary question being, where these children have gone? Whether they were on rolls at one time or not? If not, what efforts have been made to get their aadhar cards prepared?

Another related question which has cropped up is as to whether these students were also being considered as beneficiaries for mid-day meals or other facilities like uniform, books and cycles in the case of girl students.

An insider of the education department said that these entire enrollments had been deliberately created for retaining the posts of teachers on the basis of teacher-students ratio.

Due to heavy loading of data, the e-Punjab portal becomes slow and at the time of start of new academic session, it becomes difficult to update the data even by adopting the odd-even system. The portal needs better servers to solve this problem, sources said.

The data entry staff has to upload the same data on different portals under different schemes like aadhar-based data on e-Punjab, pre-matric and post-matric minority scholarships on national portals and rest of the matric scholarship cases on Ashirwad portal. It's a wastage of time and man-power.

An Education Department official on condition of anonymity said, "The issue is already under the lens of the government and factual position will come on surface after detailed investigation to the matter. However, with the loading of data on e-Punjab portal has put a check on the dual admission of students to get the benefits under Right to Education Act as now when a student gets a relieving certificate from one school and he cannot be admitted till the data is shifted to the new school."

However, despite e-Portal Punjab site being beneficial in detecting duplicacy, it still needs up-gradation to make it more effective and time-saving.

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