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.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

9022 - Central funds for rural job scheme stopped, NGO says - TNN

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Nov 3, 2015, 04.39AM IST


Social activist Aruna Roy

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Union government's response to a PIL alleging that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), floated to alleviate poverty by providing work to unemployed rural people, was in tatters as the Centre had not released Rs 3,500 crore to states since 2012. 

A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Amitava Roy issued notice to the Centre after summarizing advocate Prashant Bhushan's argument. The bench said, "You want to say that there should be compensation for delay in payment of wages and the Centre should wake up and make prompt payments." 

The three petitioners - social activists Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Lalit Mathur - requested the SC to direct the central government to ensure timely payment of wages under MGNREGS, compensation where there was delay and regular social audits of those employed under the scheme. 

The apex court, which is hearing a petition by NGO 'Centre for Environment and Food Security' on proper implementation of MGNREGS, had in 2013 directed a CBI probe into alleged scam in implementation of the scheme in Odisha and had also issued notices to UP and Madhya Pradesh. 

The petitioners made interesting disclosures about their credentials. Roy said she was a social worker and a former IAS officer and founder member of Rajasthan-based Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan (MKSS). A former member of National Advisory Council, she said her annual income was Rs 60,000, which was a subsistence honorarium from MKSS. She also provided her PAN and said she did not have Aadhaar/UID card

Dey said he was a social activist associated with MKSS working in the field of RTI and MGNREGS. He said his annual income was Rs 60,000, which again was a subsistence honorarium from MKSS. Like Roy, he too had a PAN card but no Aadhaar card. 

Mathur said he was a former civil servant (IAS of 1968 batch of Andhra Pradesh cadre). He was deputy director of CAPART and Andhra Pradesh's agriculture secretary. He said he continued to be involved with NGNREGS interventions in Jharkhand, Odisha and UP. The petition said, "His annual income is Rs 66,000." He too had a PAN card but not Aadhaar card. 

The petitioners said between 2012 and 2015, "it is observed that more than 50% of wages in the country were paid beyond the 15-day period prescribed under the Act. This delay has an adverse effect on a rural household considering that its daily necessities depend heavily on a day's wages". 

It said during the UPA regime in 2012-13, payment of wages in 39% of cases was delayed beyond the 15-day limitation. In 2013-14, wage payments under NREGS were delayed in almost 50% cases. And in the first year of NDA regime during 2014-15, the delay in payment of wages hit an alarming level of 70%.