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.


Monday, October 5, 2015

8808 - PMO’s Aadhaar card push: Mobilizing support via states a good idea - Financial Express



PM Narendra Modi has done well to mobilize BJP states like Gujarat and Haryana to petition the Supreme Court on its order on the usage of Aadhaar card...

By: The Financial Express | October 1, 2015 3:12 PM

For the poor who wish to open bank accounts, Aadhaar card is critical, especially so in the case of payments being made through mobile phone networks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done well to mobilize Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) states like Gujarat and Haryana to petition the Supreme Court on its order on the usage of Aadhaar card, and while regulators like The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have also joined the petition, others like Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) are also expected to follow suit soon. As Narendra Modi pointed out in his Silicon Valley speeches, Aadhaar is one of the pivots of his anti-poverty strategies. Since creating jobs is not going to happen in a hurry, Modi’s best bet is to ensure the poor get all the money that is meant for them. If around half of this gets siphoned off along the way – that’s Rs 150,000 crore this year, for the centre alone – what kind of anti-poverty fight is Modi going to wage? Indeed, the petition by the Gujarat government puts it very well – with Harish Salve appearing for Gujarat, a bevy of top-notch lawyers will appear in the case representing various states/regulators – when it says that the SC needs to extend its own logic. The SC – which allowed Aadhaar for PDS, but made it non-mandatory – the Gujarat petition says, ‘was guided by the right to food, which is contained in Article 21 of the Constitution … it is submitted that the schemes falling under other rights, viz, the right to work, right to receive old age or disability pensions under the Article 21, may also be treated equally’.

While Gujarat’s petition includes MGNREGA under Article 21, Sebi and RBI say that Aadhaar allows easier Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and therefore, allows a much easier participation in banking/stock markets – for the poor who wish to open bank accounts, Aadhaar is critical, especially so in the case of payments being made through mobile phone networks.

Given that the SC’s real hesitation in making Aadhaar mandatory relates to its possible impact on privacy, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) would do well to have a special presentation on that alone, to show that Aadhaar’s network is such that it cannot be used to get details of users – indeed, as this newspaper has pointed out there is enough data on various official websites such as the Election Commission and property tax ones to be able to construct detailed profiles of individuals – and then there is Facebook, not to mention that most apps on phones demand access to a user’s contacts and calendar and, often, location details. Getting Aadhaar through is vital for the Modi government, so it has to put everything it has to convince the SC of its credentials, apart from showing how it is critical for the poor to get their rights