uid

When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.” -A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholar Usha Ramanathan describes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty” and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” - Edward Snowden

Special

Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project

Quotes

What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

8763 - Company on Aadhaar List of 18 Contractors Was Prosecuted - New Indian Express

By Yatish Yadav

Published: 27th Sep 2015 08:40:49 AM

An applicant at an enrolment centre 
NEW DELHI:The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which generates the so-called ‘12-digit magic number’ better known as Aadhaar, in a recent RTI response provided details of 18 companies that it had awarded a total of 25 contracts to for various services under the scheme.

Among the list of companies is Gujarat-based Sai Infosystem (India) Limited, which was registered with the Registrar of Companies, Ahmedabad, in 2003. According to the response to the RTI query, the UIDAI contract was awarded to Sai Infosystem on February 2, 2011, for the purchase of biometric authentication.

In what raises concerns over the nature of scrutiny before awarding government contracts, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website, however, mentions that prosecution was launched against the company’s promoters for defrauding several banks in 2013.

The promoter and managing director of the company, Sunil Bhai Kakkad, was also arrested by Interpol in June last year. Kakkad was held in Monrovia, the capital of the West African country of Liberia. It is not yet clear whether the UIDAI terminated its contract after the Sai Infosystem fraud came to light. The Corporate Affairs Ministry website has listed 10 charges against the company, which is also known to have bagged several government contracts over the years.

Also on the list is L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company, which was awarded the contract for implementation of biometric solutions for the UIDAI on July 30, 2010. A month after signing the contract with the UIDAI, L1 Identity Solutions was acquired by French corporate conglomerate Safran SA Group. 

Interestingly, clause 15.3 of the contract agreements with L1 Identity Solutions says: “The data shall be retained by L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company for not more than a period of 7 years as per Retention Policy of Government of India or any other policy that UIDAI may adopt in future.”

On February 2, 2011, the UIDAI signed a contract with Sagem Morpho Security Pvt Ltd, which is owned by Safran SA Group, for the purchase of biometric authentication devices.

In response to the RTI application filed by Anil Vedvyas Galgali of Mumbai, the UIDAI also revealed on September 4 that the total outlay for the project was `13,663.22 crore, and that since its inception it had incurred `6,562.88 crore up to last month.

Among the companies which were awarded contracts, Telsima Communications Pvt Ltd was signed by the Central government agency for hiring of space for the UIDAI Biometrics Centre of Competence (UBCC) on January 27, 2011. Telsima, based in New Delhi, was floated in 2000. As per the Ministry of Corporate Affairs data, Telsima has three directors on board—Raj Kumar, John Joseph Madigan and Vikas Kumar Jain.

In February 2011, the UIDAI signed a contract with Geodesic Ltd for the purchase of biometric authentication devices. Mumbai-based Geodesic includes Pankaj Kumar, Kiran Kulkarni and Prashant Mulekar on its board. Pankaj, an alumnus of IIT-Roorkee, had been adviser to SCO prior to founding Geodesic. 

Another contract was signed in February 2011 with Totem International Ltd, also for the purchase of biometric authentication devices. Totem international was floated in 2009, and the company has two directors—Firoze Zia Hussain and Munchoor Lokayya Shetty.

Magic Number BJP Wanted To Scrap
In the run-up to the 2014 general elections, the BJP had criticised the Aadhaar project, and had even promised to scrap it if voted to power. The then BJP’s general secretary and now Union Fertilisers Minister, Ananth Kumar, had said that if elected, BJP would not only scrap the UIDAI, but also initiate criminal proceedings against those who were responsible for the scheme in which a large amount of public money was misused.

The Supreme Court, on August 11, barred the government from making Aadhaar card mandatory for individuals to avail benefits of welfare schemes, and directed it not to share personal biometric data collected for enrolment under the scheme to any authority.

The RTI response received by Galgali says, “There is no tendering process for the empanelment of enrolment agencies. The empanelment of agencies is being done under empanelment process guidelines contained in RFE 2014, dated May 19, 2014... As on date (August 24, 2015) 90.30 crore Aadhaar have been issued.”

List of Companies Awarded Contracts by UIDAI
1 HCL Infosystems
2 HP India Sales Pvt Ltd
3 Wipro Ltd
4 MAC Associates
5 National Informatics Centre Services Inc
6  Sagem Morpho Security Pvt.Ltd
7 Totem International Ltd
8 Linkwell Telesystems Pvt Ltd
9 Sai infosystem (India) Ltd
10 Geodesic Ltd
11 ID Solutions
12 NISG
13 STQC
14 Telsima Communication Pvt Ltd
15 Aircel, Bharti Airtel Ltd, BSNL, RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, Reliance Communications, Tata Communications
16 Tata Consultancy Services Ltd
17 Satyam Computer Services Ltd. (Mahindra Satyam)
18 L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company