RTI reveals no evidence to back claims of 80,000 bogus teachers detected through Aadhaar

In January 2018, while releasing the AISHE 2017-18, HRD Minister Shri Prakash Javdekar said that 80,000 bogus teachers had been detected through use of Aadhaar. Watch the video below, starting at 9:55 mins into the video.

Various publications zealously reported the same

Jan 2018, Livemint, Economic Times and possibly others carried news items about "ghost teachers" discovered due to aadhaar. Sample these:

  1. Aadhaar helps HRD ministry dig up 80,000 ghost lecturers via ET Bureau
  2. Introduction of aadhaar card helps HRD Ministry identify 80,000 ‘ghost’ teachers via Express Web Desk
  3. 80,000 ‘ghost’ teachers identified by HRD ministry, were teaching ‘by proxy’ via PTI

It was even spun into "positive news" and published by organizations like YourStory and The Better India.

Not to be outdone, UIDAI tweeted the YourStory article from their official handle.

Stalwarts like TVS Mohandas Pai used the opportunity to bash "leftist malcontents":

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RTI suggests that claim had no factual basis

However, in response to an RTI application, the HRD ministry was unable to furnish any evidence to back the claim. It could not provide the names of bogus teachers or details of institutions where they were employed. The RTI application and reply are attached.

In response to another RTI application, the HRD ministry stated that it had no information on whether any inquiry had been set up to probe into the matter & whether any disciplinary action was taken against those involved in this fraud. The relevant RTI application and reply are attached.

  1. RTI 2018 MHRD Bogus teachers- RTI & Reply - 1
  2. RTI 2018 MHRD Bogus teachers- RTI & Reply - 2

Of course, this is not the first time: similar stories about detection of "bogus" ration cards, NREGA job cards, inflated savings due to Aadhaar and so on have been time and time again disproved with data by activists and concerned citizens.

Anjali Bhardwaj of Right To Food explains how the government claims are bogus:

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