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.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

8782 - Nilekani moots models to reboot govt systems - Busines Standard


Bibhu Ranjan Mishra & Raghu Krishnan |  Bengaluru 
September 29, 2015 Last Updated at 00:57 IST


Nandan Nilekani might be out of the government and his plans of driving change as an elected representative might not have succeeded, but the ace technocrat is unfazed. The former chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is busy codifying his next vision, on how to re-energise and reboot government systems, with technology as the backbone.

This vision is captured in his second book, Rebooting Government, co-authored with former UIDAI colleague Viral Shah, and to be released in November. The impact of the book, built on the foundation he had laid during his stint at the government, could be far-reaching, says the Infosys co-founder, busy in various social initiatives, including his ambitious education non-profit, EkStep.

"It's a more pragmatic book in the sense that it is about what we did and what else can be done. It's a strategic book that talks about how to think of technology as the basis for re-imagining governance and delivery," Nilekani told Business Standard.

The reason why, he says, there is a need to reboot government systems is primarily because these are outdated and not in sync with the changing dynamics. "You have a very young, aspirational and impatient population pounding at the door, saying 'give me opportunities'. And, the system is built on the 19th century British model of governance. How will it work? You simply don't have the system that has been revamped for today's world," he says. "So, my book is how to revamp the system to address today's world."

A year after he launched his book Reimagining India, in which he spoke about unlocking the potential of a country perceived as a potential superpower, Nilekani quit Infosys to spearhead the government's ambitious Aadhaar project. In March 2014, he quit UIDAI to try his luck in politics, unsuccessfully.

Nilekani says the only reason he entered politics was he wanted to be "an agent of change" and, perhaps, being part of the system would have made the job a lot easier.

What's keeping him busy now? Policy advocacy, contributing to technological disruptions, non-profit work and his educational initiative are among a few. "It (politics) was a great learning experience. It was not that I wanted to be in politics to build a political career but I felt India needed rapid change and a lot of things you want to drive can be done when you have political legitimacy," he says.

"Now, I am realising that because of technology disruption, the market dynamics today and the fact that ideas have a lot of value and I can do things in an NGO (non-governmental organisation) world as a philanthropist, I actually have lots of ways to make an impact, without being in politics."

Apart from philanthropy and the non-profit world, Nilekani is busy mentoring a number of innovative start-ups, though he is selective in investing in these. For instance, he has made it a point not to invest in companies in the financial technology space, or Aadhaar-based start-ups, as he is evangelising on these areas.

"I don't want any conflict of interest. I don't invest in Aadhaar-based start-ups because I don't want to benefit from that creation. I don't invest in education; I only do philanthropy there."