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, December 11, 2015

9144 - Happy that NDA has given Aadhaar a big push: Nilekani - Indian Express


"For the first time, we are going to do paperless, cashless transactions on mobile phones. I think that will change the society, our country, business and government and make India a developed nation,” Nilekani said.

Nandan Nilekani receiving the Lifetime Achievement award from Ravi Shankar Prasad as NR Narayana Murthy and Vishal Sikka, winner of Newsmaker of the year winner looks on during the Express IT Awards in Bengaluru. (Source: Express photo by Ravi Kanojia)

Infosys co-founder and former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Nandan Nilekani, expressed satisfaction on the continuation of his dream project Aadhaar, which provides every citizen a social security number and proof of identity, by the current NDA government.
Nilekani resigned as chairman of the UIDAI in early 2014 to contest for general elections from the Bengaluru South constituency, after enrolling half of India’s population for the unique identity number.

Speaking after accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the third Express IT Awards programme organised by Indian Express Group in Bengaluru on Friday, Nilekani said, “I am delighted that the NDA government has embraced Aadhaar and given it so much momentum. When I left Aadhaar, we had 600 million cards, now there are 940 million. It will reach a billion mark in the next three to four months.”

He also expressed happiness that the Narendra Modi government has taken the Aadhaar project to the next level by linking old age pensioners and saving Rs 2,000 crore. The government has also saved $2.5 billion in one year by linking LPG users to Aadhaar numbers, he said.

Nilekani also expressed confidence that India could become a developed nation with the government giving impetus on adopting the Digital India theme, which involves using several digital initiatives such as digital locker, electronically opening bank accounts and mobile to mobile payment mechanism among others.

“The entire stack is going to transform governance and business. For the first time, we are going to do paperless, cashless transactions on mobile phones. I think that will change the society, our country, business and government and make India a developed nation,” Nilekani said.

He also recalled how he joined his mentor N R Narayana Murthy in founding and building Infosys as India’s second largest IT services company.

Speaking on the occasion, Murthy listed Nilekani among the four greatest contributors to India’s public governance system. The other three in his list are Prof. M S Swaminathan, Verghese Kurien and Sam Pitroda. “The four people have clearly transformed India like nobody else,” he said.

Murthy also praised Nilekani for making Aadhaar a reality.
“The identity has come to all of us because of Aadhaar. Financial inclusion and efficiency in public governance system has improved because of Aadhaar. Therefore, I think it is proper that we are paying tribute to Nilekani,” he said.

Recalling Nilekani’s contribution in building Infosys, Murthy said it was during Nandan’s tenure Infosys witnessed the best growth. He was a man who looked at everything based on data and facts. “There is no doubt at all that his role at Infosys was very crucial and we are all very grateful for him to leading Infosys. His story did not stop at Infosys. He went on to do something truly extraordinary in the technological history of India in so far as public governance system is concerned,” Murthy said.

Infosys CEO and MD Vishal Sikka, who received the Newsmaker of the Year Award, said he was proud to receive the award along with Nilekani and in the presence of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy. Stating that his last 15 months stint at Infosys as “an amazing journey”, he said he has been leading the company on the value-based foundation laid by founding members of the company.

Later, Deepak Ravindran, founder, Lookup, a start-up company and Greg Moran, founder, Zoomcar, narrated their experience of starting their respective companies despite several hurdles and challenges.

Union minister for communications & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad gave away awards to the winners across 11 categories, which attracted over 350 entries.