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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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

9196 - Infrastructural, legal issues are hurdles to Digital India’s success - Live Mint

Last Modified: Tue, Dec 22 2015. 03 35 PM IST


Concept huge responsibility on law ministry to ensure laws are updated and not ambiguous for someone to misuse, say analysts

Srishti Gupta and Harveen Ahluwalia

The Digital India initiative aims to provide Internet access to remote parts of the country through a wireless network.

New Delhi: The implementation of many e-governance projects is no measure of the success of the Digital India initiative, as experts are of the view that it has been unable to make the desired impact due to legal and infrastructural issues.

“The Digital India concept is glorified by India but it is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of the law ministry to make sure that the laws are updated and not ambiguous for someone to misuse,” Ashish Chandra, general counsel of Snapdeal, said at the 43rd National Convention of Company Secretaries organized by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India held in New Delhi on Friday.

“The legal challenges that Digital India might face are that the laws are still outdated. There are spectrum issues, data privacy issues and product liability issues,” he added.

The Digital India initiative aims to provide Internet access to remote parts of the country through a wireless network.

“It is not a Digital India but a bureaucratic India; not from the government’s side but from a legal aspect. Though certain laws have been made like IT Act, yet the laws are not keeping pace with the changing technology,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Premkumar Seshadri, executive vice-chairman and managing director of HCL Infosystems Ltd, said the concept of digital divide has changed with respect to the number of Internet users from across the nation.

“Digital power, in the hands of the citizens, is the first step towards the empowerment of the citizens. We have been able to make things easier by bringing transparency in the processes, making them online and removing human intervention,” he said.

Seshadri also emphasized that with the digitized Aadhaar unique identity number project, real-time e-governance has emerged. The legal case against Aadhaar violating privacy is to be heard by a yet-to-be-constituted constitution bench of the Supreme Court.

However, the execution speed of digital initiatives will have to be expedited. Law secretary P.K. Malhotra said Digital India is an ambitious project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but in reality, it has been going on for more than two decades. “But the government can’t succeed unless the entire industry participates as a whole,” he said.

In a session on ease of doing business, experts echoed that rules and laws that will lead to an environment that fosters easy business needs to be emphasized.

“There is a lack of time frame in the government and even when there is a time frame, nobody follows it. There is a certain inability in the department to take calls because the architecture of legislation is complex,” said Ketan Dalal, chairman of the direct tax committee of Indian Merchants Chamber, a lobby group.

Dalal believes that in India, there is a tendency to over-legislate, which becomes an impediment to business. “We have to move faster. Everything has to have a time limit. There is a need for a holistic approach,” he said.

India ranked 130 among 189 nations in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2016 rankings. The National Democratic Alliance government has launched a drive to improve the country’s business environment, speed up approvals for businesses to boost manufacturing and job creation, and bring transparency and stability to tax rates.
srishti.g@livemint.com