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.


Friday, November 20, 2015

9060 - Irregularities alleged in ITDA schools - The Hindu


A well-oiled network of headmasters and officials milks them dry

The student roll is stuffed with fictitious entries and funds provided by government agencies are allegedly swindled.


At GTW Ashram School for tribal children in Dumbriguda mandal in the Agency area of Visakhapatnam district, the total enrolment of students stands at 210. But a physical check reveals that only about 120-130 are present on any given day.
The same is the case in schools run by the District Education Office (DEO), where physical attendance in four of the six schools visited by The Hindu was less than 10 per cent. But food and other supplies such as cosmetics and uniforms provided by the government are requisitioned for the total strength.

These are just a few of the cases where the student roll is stuffed with fictitious entries and funds provided by government agencies leak through the loopholes.

In the picturesque Agency areas of Visakhapatnam district, over 120 schools are run by the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), and around 1,840 schools are run by the DEO. Put together, they cater to about 1.04 lakh students in the tribal areas -- on paper.

While schools run by ITDA are residential, those run by DEO are day schools where mid-day meals are provided.

In ITDA schools, the government coughs up Rs. 27 per student. In the day schools, mid-day meals are provided at a cost of Rs. 4.60 per student.

Official sources say the irregularities are committed in two ways: first by creating fictitious entries in the rolls and secondly by inflating the attendance. If one ITDA school inflates its attendance by 100 students, the money leaked would stand at Rs. 2,700 per day, Rs. 81,000 per month, and Rs. 9.7 lakh per year.

The money always does not come in the form of cash. Many items such as rice, dal and oils are provided by the Girijan Cooperative Corporation and only purchases of vegetables and other items are made by cash at the school level.

In some of the schools, eggs, which are part of the mid-day meal, are not served. “The eggs come but are sold in the open market by some of the people in the management,” said a teacher in Paderu.

Inflated attendance
“Inflated attendance is used to justify inflated inventories, and the surplus is sold in the open market. The irregularities are committed mostly by headmasters and wardens in connivance with some officers in the ITDA and DEO. This is a well-oiled chain. It is worse in the DEO-run schools,” said a teacher from Chintapalli, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Last year, the total budget sanctioned for ITDA schools was about Rs. 54 crore. This year it is around Rs. 66 crore. In the case of DEO schools, the total diet charges till date have already exceeded Rs. 20 crore.
It is estimated that about 10-15 per cent of the funds are lost through inflated rolls or attendance.
According to ITDA Project Officer Hari Narayanan, attendance rigging has been happening for a long time. “We are trying our best to plug it. Aadhaar seeding for the student rolls is one solution we have tried and we have been able to plug the irregularities to a great extent,” he said. Post Aadhaar seeding, the enrolment rate has dropped. In 2013-14, the enrolment figure in ITDA schools was 42,607; in 2014-15 it dropped to 40,616. This year, it has fallen to 36,217, according to Mr. Hari Narayanan.