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


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.


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Saturday, October 10, 2015

8898 - Aadhaar not mandatory, but makes life easier for people - TNN


Mahendra Singh,TNN | Oct 9, 2015, 05.04 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Aadhaar number is not a mandatory ID and the government is willing to reiterate this commitment but inability to link the UID platform with a plethora of central and state welfare schemes will severely disadvantage a large chunk of 92 crore persons enrolled in the scheme who have no other reliable means of identification. 

While the rules make it clear that Aadhaar is not mandatory for various services, requests will be processed much faster with a UID number as it provides definitive proof of identity through biometrics and eliminates duplication and fraud. 

Usage of Aadhaar suggests that the initiative has gained momentum because of an individual's preference as it offers benefits either in terms of convenience, time, money, and/or transparency. 

While many in urban areas may have alternative IDs, a very large number of Aadhaar enrolled persons, mainly poor and rural masses, have no other ID and will be hit hard if Aadhaar is ruled out as a link to welfare. 

Aadhaar, considered a valid proof of address and identity across various domains including the government, has emerged as a key tool as UID offers a ubiquitous platform to authenticate anyone, anytime so long as there is internet connectivity. 

As on date, around 92 crore people have been issued Aadhaar, which is much higher than 5.7 crore passports, over 17 crore PAN cards, over 60 crore election photo identity cards (EPIC), over 15 crore ration cards and over 17 crore driving licences. 

Traditionally, people didn't have any nationally acceptable unique identity, and were forced to use proxy identities such as driving licence, PAN cards, EPIC, ration cards and passport among others to prove their identity and address. But the lack of easily verifiable identity led to exclusion of genuine beneficiaries, mainly poor and marginalized, while it resulted in inclusion of duplicates and fake entries in various beneficiary lists. 

Aadhaar has also emerged as a key tool for preventing leaks. One such case is saving of around Rs 19,000 crore in the direct benefit transfer scheme. Over 2.50 crore payments (transactions) have taken place in schemes like MGNREGA, pensions and scholarships while over 70,000 appointments have been booked at leading hospitals in Delhi such as AIIMS by outstation people by using Aadhaar-linked KYC service. 

Under Jan Dhan Yojana, over 18 crore households (representing over 70 crore people) opened bank accounts and over 7.6 crore people opted to give Aadhaar as the KYC document. These account holders started parking their savings and about Rs 32,000 crore is already deposited in these accounts. 

Banks (including postal department) have worked to provide basic banking services through 87,000 online POS devices, which work online using mobile technology. Till recently, over 15 crore Aadhaar-based biometric transactions were done on these POS devices, showing that crores of people are using these facilities in rural India. 

The trend of linking Aadhaar to bank accounts is not limited to Jan Dhan accounts alone, across India over 21 crore individuals have linked their accounts to their Aadhaar numbers.