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 11, 2015

9145 - National Population Register won’t be used for Aadhaar enrolments - Live Mint

Last Modified: Mon, Dec 07 2015. 01 11 AM IST

UIDAI may soon be sole agency for enrolment as centres decides to bench NPR project for slow progress

New Delhi: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) implementing the Aadhaar project may soon be the sole agency for enrolment of residents and collection of biometric data across the country, and home ministry’s NPR project will not be part of it.
“At a recent meeting chaired by the cabinet secretary on the progress of the UIDAI project, along with ministries concerned including Communication and IT, it has been decided that there will be no further enrolments under the National Population Register (NPR) of the home ministry,” a person with knowledge of the matter said.
“The government is in the process of withdrawing the NPR project from enrolments mainly because of their slow progress on the job,” this person added.
At present, both UIDAI and NPR are entrusted with the job of enroling residents and collection of their biometric details, which are used for generating a 12-digit Aadhaar number and issuing a National Multipurpose Identification Card (NMIC).
When UPA was in power, a Cabinet Committee on UIDAI had bifurcated the coverage of enrolments between the authority and the Registrar General of India under the NPR project. It was also decided that the 12-digit unique identification number will be issued by UIDAI for the entire population and the NMICs for all residents will be issued under the NPR project using the UID generated by the authority.
At present, UIDAI has been given the job for 24 states/UTs for Aadhaar enrolments whereas the remaining 12 states/UTs are under the NPR project.
According to the UIDAI web portal, 94.22 crore Aadhaar numbers have already been issued by the project. The source further said, “Since the decision on the bifurcation of enrolment work was taken by the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI, now this proposal of withdrawing NPR may also go to the Union Cabinet for their perusal.”
In February 2014, UIDAI was asked to cover Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand as enrolment didn’t make much progress in these densely populated states.
The government wants to complete the enrolment process under the unique identification project at the earliest to use Aadhaar as a tool to provide subsidies and benefits under various social sector schemes directly.
Under the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme, the benefits such as scholarships, pension and cooking gas subsidy are directly transferred to beneficiaries’ banks accounts.
The government intends to use Aadhaar as a tool to authenticate the identity of people to weed out ghost beneficiaries and plug leakages in spending on various social sector schemes.
UIDAI has been asked by the government to complete the enrolment process of the entire population by the end of this fiscal or latest by June next year.