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 24, 2015

8987 - Aadhaar gets a boost - Business Stadard


Govt should now bring forth an effective privacy law
Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  New Delhi 

October 21, 2015 Last Updated at 21:41 IST

The Supreme Court's modification of its order on Aadhaar, expanding the use of the unique identification system to four additional welfare schemes - provident funds and pensions, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Jan Dhan Yojana - is a welcome step. The court's earlier decision this summer limiting Aadhaar to the public food distribution system and fuel subsidies had thrown authorities like the Ministry of Rural Development and the Election Commission into confusion. They were reported to be pulling back from using the biometric system as it was feared they would be seen to be in contempt of court. The earlier order ruled that Aadhaar could be used for food and fuel subsidies but not for other purposes, limiting the use of this potent tool to contain subsidies leakage.

Aadhaar is best understood as a technology foundation upon which India can build a better, more-targeted and less-leaky subsidies system - food and fuel subsidies have been grossly misdirected over the past several decades. It can also help achieve radically higher rates of financial inclusion. In Bengaluru, efforts by a non-governmental organisation has seen construction labourers, among others, open bank accounts late at night at small grocery stores and remit money to their families in rural India. By being able to do so without paying onerous commissions of as much as Rs 100 for a remittance of Rs 1,000 has made them eager adopters of a financial inclusion effort that uses Aadhaar as a backbone. Aadhaar thus enjoys support at both ends of the policy spectrum: the poor without bank accounts, who are delighted to have access to services that are often elusive, and policymakers, who see larger goals such as reducing the fiscal deficit and wasteful expenditure. Not surprisingly, the judgment last week was welcomed by both the central bank governor and the finance minister. Chief Justice H L Dattu put forward an elemental question: if Aadhaar was to be used for the public distribution system and cooking gas supplies, "why not extend it to other activities?"

The thorny question of whether Aadhaar is a threat to privacy and indeed whether privacy is a fundamental right has again been referred to a larger bench to adjudicate. Many observers have criticised the government for muddling the issue of using Aadhaar by arguing that there was no fundamental right to privacy. Indeed, the government might not have had to embark on this long and tortuous road of protracted legal challenges to Aadhaar if it had legislated adequate laws to protect privacy. Aadhaar has been something of a case study in enrolment - some 920 million Indians have an Aadhaar identity - but its safeguards and benefits are poorly understood by many in the middle class. The use of it for a "know your customer", for instance, stays within the banking system. When an authentication is done, the system does not know the purpose for which it was done. No system this large is immune from, say, a hacker, but what it replaces was riddled with abuse. But that is no excuse for not putting in place a privacy law to prevent anybody from misusing individual data. The court's decision allowing a wider use of Aadhaar should ensure improved governance that is both more humane and pragmatic in dispensing welfare benefits. The government should now urgently get down to the task of framing an effective privacy law to address all doubts and concerns over data security.