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.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

9185 - Former Aadhaar Chairman says India will experience banking transformation - Biometric Update



December 17, 2015 - 
Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the government agency in charge of Aadhaar, recently gave an interview where he claimed that India is now on the cusp of transformation in banking and payments due to the expansion of the biometric database.
Aadhaar, recognized as the world’s largest universal Civil ID program and biometric database, is used by the Indian government to provide social services. To date, Aadhaar has issued over 900 million Aadhaar numbers, and has enrolled approximately 850 million people, with a goal of ultimately enrolling one billion people.
The database is actively used for monitor school attendance, issue natural gas subsidies to India’s rural poor, and to send wages directly to people’s bank accounts. The Indian government spends US$50 billion on direct subsidies, such food coupons for rice and cooking gas, every year.
The Aadhaar system, a landmark legacy project of India’s previous Congress Party government, also provides identification to people who do not have birth certificates. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian government is now seeking to massively expand the program. In its first budget, the government allocated US$340 million to speed the Aadhaar registration process. The new government’s objective is now to enroll 100 million more residents with Aadhaar in an effort to expand social programs offered through the service.
Nilekani noted in the interview: “Aadhaar has really survived and flourished despite political changes. When I stepped down as chairman in March 2014, we kept a commitment that we’ll issue 600 million Aadhaars and we kept our commitment. The new government has embraced Aadhaar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews it every month in meetings, and now it has crossed 930 million. The Supreme Court has not put any restriction on enrolment, so that will continue and will hit a billion soon.”
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With wider enrollment, Nilekani predicts that Aadhaar will become a platform for financial transactions since Modi’s government has proposed use of Aadhaar to issue bank accounts to all Indian households. In the interview, he describes the launch of a new private bank, that uses Aadhaar authentication for its state-of-the-art micro ATM, allowing its customers to withdraw money. He notes: “The device was made by a private company, the user was a private bank, and the data verification was Aadhaar’s.” Nilekani said in the interview that these interrelationships were made possible because of the partnership between UIDAI and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which came into existence during his tenure. The NPCI provides an umbrella platform for all retail payment settlement in India.

Nilekani also said in the interview he was excited about the entrepreneurial opportunities that Aadhaar has created. He noted: “Just like Internet and GPS, where government-related infrastructure ultimately led to the Facebooks and Googles of the world, Aadhaar will lead to a huge number of start-ups in the next 10 years and many of them will become very large.” In the interview, he pointed out that financiers have begun to talk about creating Aadhaar-specific funds.