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


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


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.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

9075 - Biometric authentication rolled out in about 50,000 fair price shops - Busniness Standard

By 2016, biometrics to plug PDS leakages
Arup Roychoudhury  |  New Delhi 

November 18, 2015 Last Updated at 00:57 IST

The Narendra Modi-led government is aiming big on Aadhaar-based biometric authentication, which it plans to roll out at all fair price shops across the country by end-2016. It is also looking to use the mechanism to identify beneficiaries of kerosene subsidies, Business Standard has learnt.

The Centre, with help from states, has already rolled out biometric authentication facilities in around 50,000 fair price shops, including 44 in Delhi, to identify beneficiaries of subsidised foodgrains under the public distribution system. There are around 500,000 fair price shops in all states and Union territories combined.

  • Biometric authentication rolled out in about 50,000 fair price shops
  • There are about 500,000 fair price shops nationwide
  • Plan to roll out biometric identification in all of them by December 2016-March 2017
  • Authentication used for food subsidy beneficiaries so far
  • Will be used for kerosene as well once Centre, states reach subsidy reduction agreement

According to sources, Central and state governments are likely to ramp up the roll-out of biometric authentication devices - essentially tablets connected to the database with authentication software and printers.

"We are aiming at December 2016 or March 2017 latest to roll out biometric authentication in all of the 500,000 fair price shops," said a senior official aware of the plans.

The official said the identification of kerosene subsidy beneficiaries will also be under biometric authentication. However, this will be worked upon only after the Centre and states reach an agreement to share the future subsidy burden and look at ways to reduce kerosene subsidy. For FY16, the subsidy has been estimated at about Rs 8,000 crore.

Biometric identification of kerosene beneficiaries also means that the beneficiaries' ration card details will have to be linked to Aadhaar, as the authentication is linked to the unique identification database. The Supreme Court had mandated in August that Aadhaar could be used for public distribution of foodgrain and kerosene, but it also ruled that it should be voluntary.

The deadline for the states to achieve 100 per cent digitisation of beneficiaries' details is December 31. Indications are that it might be extended.

"The states have to ramp up digitisation and linking of beneficiaries' data; Otherwise, the aim of rolling out biometric authentication nationwide might fall short of our target," said another official. According to data available on the website of the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, while nearly all states have completed digitisation of fair price shops and godown data, 13 states are lagging behind in ration card data. These include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.

Only six states have taken the lead in digitising the data of beneficiaries - Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Others have either not started at all, or only implemented in very few blocks and districts. According to data available on the Unique Identification Authority of India website, as on October 31, the percentage of Aadhaar penetration, compared to a state's population, was as low as 1.7 per cent. In Assam and Meghalaya, it was 1.4 per cent.