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

8902 - A firmer Aadhaar - Indian Express

A firmer Aadhaar
If the government wants the UID project to deliver on its promise, it must first give it statutory backing


Published:October 9, 2015 11:22 pm

The Modi government clearly views Aadhaar as an essential tool in its ambitious Digital India initiative, and in its plan to overhaul the existing architecture of social welfare schemes.

Almost since its inception, the fate of Aadhaar — which the Supreme Court on Wednesday referred to a larger bench while declining to stay an August 11 interim order that restricted its use to only the LPG scheme and the PDS — has been uncertain. 

Even as the executive has enrolled millions of people in the biometric identification programme, Aadhaar has been vulnerable to legal challenges, especially on the ground of individual privacy. Despite what seems to be a multiparty consensus on the transformative potential of the unique identification project, which originated as a UPA scheme but has been subsequently adopted by the NDA, both governments have failed to insulate Aadhaar from such disputes. They have left it to fend for itself without a statutory framework.

RELATED ARTICLE

The Modi government clearly views Aadhaar as an essential tool in its ambitious Digital India initiative, and in its plan to overhaul the existing architecture of social welfare schemes. 

Aadhaar’s promise lies in its capacity to enable the state to effectively target entitlement programmes to the intended beneficiary by allowing those who most need benefits to access them without requiring various stamps of officialdom as proof of identity. By linking a number to unique biometric details, Aadhaar can help eliminate duplication and impersonation in muster rolls and beneficiary lists, plugging the leaks that currently characterise most social welfare initiatives. Yet, the government is endangering its own agenda with its apparent disinterest in giving the programme a clearer definition in law, which might also address some of the questions that hang over it, particularly on privacy.

It is not as if concerns that the wealth of personal information collected by the Aadhaar database could be misused are unwarranted. Not only does the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which administers Aadhaar, operate independent of parliamentary oversight, government initiatives like the Orwellian-sounding Central Monitoring System fan suspicion that the state will use composite Aadhaar data to surveil and profile individuals and groups. The CBI’s attempt in March last year to force the UIDAI to share its fingerprint data with investigators for a rape case was stayed by the Supreme Court, and will have lent weight to the arguments of privacy rights advocates.

Such incidents underscore the fact that unless the UIDAI is supported by legislation, the courts will continue to be the final arbiters of its mandate. By making it a priority to codify both a right to privacy that explicitly outlines a framework for the operation of data collection agencies and the UIDAI itself, the Modi government can remove the uncertainty that plagues Aadhaar and enable it to realise its full potential.