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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Thursday, October 22, 2015

8956 - An official Andhra survey shows why Modi government should stop pushing Aadhaar so doggedly - Scroll.In


An audit of ration shops after the introduction of Aadhaar revealed that many genuine beneficiaries couldn’t collect food grain due to system glitches.


Scroll Staff  · Oct 15, 2015 · 05:30 pm

The Modi government’s insistence on the use of Aadhaar, India’s biometrics-based unique identification project, to weed out “ghosts, fakes, duplicates” from social welfare schemes is counterproductively excluding genuine beneficiaries from the programmes.

In Andhra Pradesh, an official audit conducted after ration shops adopted the Aadhaar system revealed that many genuine ration card holders couldn’t collect food grain due to fingerprint authentication failure and a mismatch of Aadhaar numbers. The audit was undertaken at five ration shops in three districts of Andhra Pradesh in May this year. At three of the stores, more than half the legitimate beneficiaries had to turn back without any ration.

The audit findings reveal the flaws in the Aadhaar project which the government obdurately maintains is essential to target subsidies for the deserving. Even though the Supreme Court, in August, ruled that enrolment for Aadhaar can’t be made mandatory for government benefits, the order was challenged by the Unique Identification Authority of India, the Reserve Bank of India and other regulatory bodies.

On October 8, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar refused to modify the August order. It referred the matter to a larger bench.

Biometrics fail beneficiaries

Amid this uncertainty, there’s evidence of Aadhaar’s ineffectiveness.

Earlier this year, the Andhra Pradesh government adopted the Aadhaar system and installed electronic point-of-sale machines at fair price shops, or ration shops, to verify beneficiaries’ fingerprints. To get ration, every ration card holder now has to provide valid Aadhaar numbers for all members of the household, and then authenticate her fingerprints on the scanner in the point-of-sale device. (The device is connected to the database of biometric information collected during Aadhaar enrolment.)

The Andhra Pradesh Civil Supplies Department started distributing ration through this process in May this year. That month, at 5,358 ration shops, 6.87 lakh ration card holders of the existing 31 lakh beneficiaries (or 22%) didn’t take ration. At 125 ration shops, the figure was higher at around 58% – 50,151 of the total 85,589 card holders didn’t collect their ration.

Faced with such a difference, the Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency, a body set up by the Department of Rural Development to conduct social audits for government programmes, conducted a survey. It audited five ration shops in the districts of Anantapur, Prakasam, and Nellore, taking 20% of the “left over ration card holders” as the sample size.

The society found that in Cheemakurthi in Prakasam district, 69 of the surveyed 82 beneficiaries said their fingerprints didn’t match. In Allur in Nellore district, this problem was cited by 106 of 203 ration card holders. In Ongole in Prakasam district, 50 of 93 beneficiaries blamed the same problem.

Besides this, there were other failures. The survey discovered 35 beneficiaries from two slums who earlier used to get relatives to collect ration on their behalf because they worked in neighbouring villages. Under the new system, they missed out since it is mandatory for the beneficiary to be personally available to collect the ration.

In one instance, a ration dealer in Mudigubba allowed the beneficiaries to collect their rations manually without Aadhaar authentication, but in the system they showed up as beneficiaries who did not collect their rations. This opens the possibility of them being incorrectly getting counted as “fakes or duplicates”.

While the government wants to extend Aadhaar to a number of schemes and services, the findings in Andhra Pradesh show that the system requires more scrutiny before it can be termed as a fool-proof way of welfare delivery.

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