Kohima: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) objected the implementation of the Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry (APAAR), often referred to as ‘One Nation, one student ID’, in Nagaland.
The student body opposed the recent exercise conducted by the department of School Education saying that APAAR is a controversial initiative aimed at establishing an Education Ecosystem Registry known as ‘EduLocker.’
Through a letter addressed to the chief secretary, NSF said, “APAAR, as 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. Although the government presents this initiative as a solution for seamless tracking of academic progress and achievements, several significant concerns have come to light’.
The NSF said that 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, they pointed.
Pointing out that the educational institutions are already grappling with administrative burdens, NSF said that the introduction of the APAAR registry would only exacerbate the workload of teaching faculty and staff, potentially impacting the quality of education.
“The NSF firmly believes that the consent of parents for APAAR enrolment is insufficient to safeguard the rights and privacy of students. The government’s assurance that data will be shared only with relevant government agencies, although stated, remains highly questionable and does not eliminate the possibility of misuse or data breaches. The proposed centrally functioning District Information for Education portal could also become a potential target for cyberattacks, endangering the personal information of students,” the student body said.
The NSF called for a comprehensive reconsideration of the APAAR initiative before any exercise is undertaken by the department concerned for the introduction of the same.
“We appeal to the state government and the department concerned to call for a wider and comprehensive consultation with all stakeholders: wherein, we strongly advocatefor prioritization of data security, immediately address administrative challenges, and engage in an inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders, inclusive of parents, students and educational institutions,” the letter read.
A consultative and collaborative approach, they said, is crucial to ensure the well-being of students and to maintain the integrity of the education system in Nagaland. A thorough consultation on the matter is essential to develop a more robust and privacy-conscious solution for tracking students’ academic progress, one that is in the best interest of our students and educational institutions, they added.
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The Federation demanded that the present exercise in regard to the implementation process of APAAR in the state of Nagaland be kept in abeyance until wider consultation takes place.
The NSF also appealed to all the educational institutions that this exercise is not mandatory and, therefore, should not be enforced upon the students and the parents.
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