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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Friday, November 20, 2015

9048 - Government needs to think beyond building websites: Viral B Shah, coder and author - Economic Times

ET Bureau Nov 9, 2015, 10.45AM IST

By J Vignesh

BENGALURU: By the time he was in his eighth standard, Viral B Shah, co-author of 'Rebooting India Realising a Billion Aspirations', knew that coding was his passion. It started with BASIC and led to Julia, a language designed to meet the requirements of numerical, scientific and general purpose programming.

The 35-year-old, who grew up in Mumbai in "a traditional and simple Gujarati family", landed in Bengaluru in 2010 to work with UIDAI."After my PhD at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I worked at Interactive Supercomputing, a small startup. It was acquired by Microsoft and I decided not to join a large software company and instead moved back to India to work on Aadhaar," he said.
Shah also started working on Julia, with three others, at the same time. "Aadhaar by daytime, Julia at night," he added.
Aadhaar led to his associa tion with Nandan Nilekani, the IT czar who later became his co-author.

Shah's role in the project focussed on facilitating various government payments such as subsidies, social security benefits and peer-to-peer remittances using Aadhaar.

The book, which grew out of the experiences from the Aadhaar project, aims to solve the challenges that the country faces. " With our book, Rebooting India, Nandan and I project all our learning to solve various grand challenges that India faces using software at the core. We believe that a government needs to not just create websites but completely reimagine gover nance with technology at the core, just like Amazon did with retail or Uber and Ola did with taxis," he said.

Shah feels that the energy for tech in general and startups in particular is palpable.

"Bengaluru is, according to me, the only rival to silicon valley.
The ecosystem is evolving. It is the hub for people with coding degrees. IoT has become a big thing here. There are makerspaces coming up and hackathons happening. There is so much energy and innovation happening," he said.

Apart from the geek that he is, this passionate coder loves to hike and play Ultimate Frisbee and says that his favourite Bengaluru moments have been, "Taking the walk with Bangalore Walks down MG Road and learning about the city's scientific past — the most interesting being the great trigonometric mapping of India that started at Trinity Church." 

He also has a thing for idlis and enjoys trying them at different eateries.


But having said all that, the entrepreneur in him wants to help nurture the upcoming ones. "I love meeting with entrepreneurs who are thinking of one crazy idea after another — trying to change India and the world, all with an app," Shah said.