Cook-cum-helpers working under the Mid-day meal scheme as well as the student beneficiaries will now be required to have an Aadhaar card to avail the facility with the Human Resource Development ministry mandating the same.
The move, aimed at improving efficiency and transparency, comes following a push from the Central government to link the Aadhaar number with subsidy schemes related to school education.
The Department of School Education and Literacy, under the HRD ministry, has decided to give a window till June 30 to those who do not have an Aadhaar card yet.
"The use of Aadhaar as identity document for delivery of services, benefits or subsidies simplifies the government delivery process and enables beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly and in a seamless manner," a senior ministry official said.
"A notification will be sent to schools that students desirous of availing the benefits under the Midday meal scheme will be required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo the authentication," he added.
The cook-cum-helpers engaged under the scheme for preparing and serving midday meals at schools are honorary workers who come forward for rendering social services and are paid an honorarium for the same.
"The cook-cum-helpers are also treated as beneficiaries under the scheme and hence they will also be required to furnish Aadhaar numbers," the official said.
In an inter-ministerial meeting earlier this year, DSEL had raised concerns over the decision to use the Aadhaar number as an identification document for receiving benefits under various school-related schemes saying the plan needs more deliberation.