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.

Friday, December 4, 2015

9130 - Maharashtra likely to roll out centralised portal for all welfare schemes -dna

Thursday, 3 December 2015 - 7:20am IST | Agency: dna | From the print edition

This centralised facility, which may be rolled out in January, will help achieve universal seeding for various welfare schemes and also do away with the duplication of effort by different departments, which otherwise send officials to collect details from the same set of beneficiaries.
  • The Centre’s plan to push the trinity of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile to enable delivery of welfare schemes and financial inclusion will get a boost
To speed up the seeding of Aadhaar numbers with other databases for direct benefit transfers and weeding out ineligible beneficiaries from welfare schemes, the state government is planning to develop an integrated, centralised portal for use by all departments.
This centralised facility, which may be rolled out in January, will help achieve universal seeding for various welfare schemes and also do away with the duplication of effort by different departments, which otherwise send officials to collect details from the same set of beneficiaries.
Senior state information technology (IT) department officials told dna that this portal would speed up seeding for the public distribution system (PDS) and MGNREGA among other such schemes, where universal seeding between the databases has not been achieved. The field staff will collect the Aadhaar numbers and punch it in the programme database.

"This will speed up seeding," the official noted, adding that the Centre's ambitious plans to push the trinity of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) to enable social security, delivery of welfare schemes and financial inclusion would also get a boost. The Jan Dhan account numbers can also be linked to this database.
"This is at the planning stage," M Sankaranarayanan, director, (IT), told dna. "It will prevent duplication (of efforts by various departments). A common form has been designed for the survey. At present, various departments turn up at the door of one family for the same beneficiary." This will be replaced by a common survey for one beneficiary, who will be mapped in one go.
Though around 75% of the 1.8 crore beneficiaries (workers) of the MGNREGA have been seeded, Sankaranarayanan said the number of active workers was just around 35 lakh. Of these active workers, 24 lakh have seen their seeding with Aadhaar being completed.
Similarly, in PDS, where just around 50% of the 7 crore beneficiaries have their Aadhaar numbers linked to their databases, around 45% to 50% of the poor households, which get maximum benefit in terms of ration, have been seeded on priority. Seeding is not at a very high level in social security pensions and scholarship schemes, the centralised portal will help change that too.
"Any monetary benefit (transfer) by the government can be done through the Aadhaar-linked account of the beneficiary, besides curbing de-duplication of databases and weeding out (ineligible beneficiaries)," noted Sankaranarayanan.
The money for various schemes can also be withdrawn through Aadhaar authentication based on the banking correspondent model. Here, these correspondents with micro ATMs will ensure biometric authentication of the beneficiaries before they withdraw the money. This will ensure that only the eligible get to withdraw.
Based on population data for 2015, the percentage of those below the age of five who have Aadhaar cards is just about 23% as compared to around 77% between the ages of five and 18 and 95% among those above 18.
The Supreme Court has extended the voluntary use of the Aadhaar card to the MGNREGA, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, pension and provident fund schemes, apart from the public distribution system and LPG subsidy.