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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Thursday, December 3, 2015

9106 - MapR And Big Data In The World's Largest Biometric Database Project - Forbes

NOV 25, 2015 @ 11:50 AM 3,384 VIEWS

MapR And Big Data In The World's Largest Biometric Database Project

Ambika Behal , CONTRIBUTOR
I cover female entrepreneurs and multinationals in India.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

India’s Aadhaar project is one of the world’s most ambitious big data projects – aiming to collect, store and utilize biometric information from a population of over a billion people – so of course there are challenges, but also an incredible opportunity, says MapR, the company behind the technology.

Aadhaar, essentially a 12-digit number issued to individuals by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), was commissioned by the Government of India in 2009. Serving as the grand architect and first chairman of the highly technological project was Infosys co-founder and former CEO Nandan Nilekani.

Intended as a unique identifier for Indian citizens, the aim of Aadhaar, the word roughly translated as ‘base’ or ‘support’, is to eliminate the issue of false identities and prevent resulting fraud in financial transactions.

California-headquartered MapR, developer and distributor of the Apache APA -4.26% Hadoop technology, which works to integrate web-scale enterprise storage and real-time database technologies, has been applying this skill-set to Aadhaar.

“Multiple challenges include storage – analytics to make sure the data is accurate, security, and very high-volumes of authentications,” says MapR co-founder and CEO John Schroeder.

With over a billion people to process, Aadhaar requires a technological platform that enables storage as well as acceptance of millions of authentications a day.


Iris scan in progress in India’s Aadhaar project; photo courtesy of MapR

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Individuals take their number and offer up a fingerprint or iris-scan in order to prove their identity – which is pulled and matched from the database to a headshot photo, which has also been stored. With over a hundred million identity verifications taking place each day, Schroeder says it is important that all of it is processed in real-time – at a speed of approximately 200 milliseconds.

India boasts a large rural population, many of who continue to live in regions not yet connected to the 21st century grid.
“It had to be implemented in a very economical way,” says Schroeder, “enrollment is on inexpensive laptops, the low bandwidth and resilient technology must be able to work with the registrations coming in from areas of low connectivity.”
Spending six and a half years on developing the platform for this kind of challenge, Schroeder points out just how revolutionary it is to be able to accept and store data from the 928 million and growing numbers in the Aadhaar database.
The Aadhaar project though, is currently the tip of the iceberg, says Schroeder, who expects the built-scale and built-ability for real-time processing will skyrocket with increasing numbers joining the system – enabling for different ways of utilizing the technology for authentication processes.

“Aadhaar is a huge leap-frog over the U.S. where social security is just a number,” says Schroeder, “we don’t have the validation and biometric identification to match the person.”

The simple implementation of big-data storage as a starting point means that India has a great opportunity to leap-frog much of the world in its potential ability to use the technology in ways of delivering healthcare, insurance services, perhaps even equipment delivery, says Schroeder.

MapR CEO and co-founder John Schroeder; photo courtesy of MapR

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next wave of big data,” says Schroeder, exemplifying Monsanto MON +0.00%’s move to implement agricultural equipment collecting microclimate and soil samples in the thousands, out in the field, and storing it on big-data systems in real-time.

MapR has also been working with telecom companies in Asia-Pacific, using analytics to enable companies to understand their subscribers.

There’s also been a bit of buzz about an IPO for MapR.
“We’re ahead of the plan in terms of growth rates – we’ll be able to take the company public when we feel like the markets are right,” says Schroeder, “we’ve got the luxury and flexibility to pull the trigger, perhaps in 2016 or 2017.”