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, January 8, 2016

9209 - After Aadhaar, now you'll get one more biometric card - Bangalore Citizen Matters


Verification of census-2011 data for National Population Register has begun in Bengaluru. This means you will have to provide the documents asked by enumerators. You will get your national identity card once the process is complete. Akshatha M, 24 Dec 

November 30. Sindhu Naik, a resident of North Bengaluru, got a notice from her apartment community: “A drive being conducted this Saturday (5th Dec) & Sun (6th Dec) from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for the verification of the Aadhar card. Ms. Kumari S. from the Registrar General of Citizen Registration will be visiting our complex for this purpose. Please keep your Aadhar cards handy at this time.” She asked her friends and others, but did not get any clarity on what the issue was about. 

Citizen Matters tried asking Unique Identity Authority of India, but the officials in the department denied having any knowledge about any such drive. Our query regarding this with the BBMP Commissioner elicited an information that it is perhaps a national census, however we could not get other details. On December 23, Jayalaxmi Patil, a theatre and TV actor living in Konanakunte was visited by three BBMP officials who wanted her to give them the Aadhaar numbers of her family members. 

When she asked why, they told her it was for a smart card, which will eliminate the need of voter ID and senior citizen cards. A person claiming to be from BBMP even told her on phone that they have come there for verifying Aadhaar card. 

Jayalaxmi, however, refused to give the details because they weren’t clear enough. Citizens have been sharing concern over the exercise, of the authenticity of the enumerators, of the need to share Aadhaar number etc, thanks to the lack of publicity and secrecy around the whole exercise. 

So what’s this Aadhaar verification drive all about? Even though it has been over a month since the Directorate of Census Operations began the process of updating National Population Register (NPR) and seeding Aadhaar numbers to this register, the citizens of Bengaluru are still largely unaware of this latest census. This is because the central government stopped at little publicity, with no formal launch process. There were some advertisements in print media about the updation process in November which few would have noticed. When the enumerator arrives at the doorsteps asking for information and Aadhaar number, people are left wondering what this process is all about. The Home Ministry of India launched this nation-wide exercise of NPR updation and seeding Aadhaar number on November 15th. The exercise is carried out in an attempt to update the 2011 census database along with Aadhaar number, towards issuing National Identity Cards. 

Aadhaar or no Aadhaar, biometrics compulsory State Director of Census Operations, Helen Prem Kumar told Citizen Matters that the nation-wide exercise begun on November 15th and was supposed to end on December 15th. However, now the date has been extended and the process will continue till January 8th. “We had collected citizen's information during the last 2011 census. However, there are chances of errors in the data we have collected. With the Central government planning to issue National Identity Card to each of its citizen, we have taken up the work of verifying the information and also seed Aadhaar data to NPR database. During the process of verification, the enumerator will add the phone number of the house owner, verify the total number of family members, mention details about the newly added family member, demised person etc,” she added. On asked what the citizens who do not possess Aadhaar number should do and whether they will be deprived of National Identity Card, the Director said that the government has planned to open centres in each taluk to collect biometric identification of citizens who do not possess Aadhaar. In a nutshell, whether you have opted for Aadhaar card or not, you will have to provide your biometric identification (iris and fingerprint) to the government, to be considered as an Indian citizen. Enumerators greeted with locked houses Helen Prem Kumar said that they have deployed State government staff for the enumeration work. They are given instruction to visit the houses in the morning and evening hours when the working members will remain in their house. To a query on the percentage of updation and Aadhaar seeding done in Bengaluru, the Director refused to divulge the information. An enumerator on the condition of anonymity said that at least 1/3rd of the houses that he visits remain locked. “I visit the locked house twice or thrice after which I mark ‘house is locked’ in the register,” he said. What is National Population Register (NPR)? According to the FAQ on NPR website, it is a register of “usual residents” of the country, prepared at the local (village/city), sub-district (tehsil/taluk, district, state and national level. 

Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 have provisions to have such a register. A usual resident is the one who has stayed in the local area for the past six months, or a person who intends to stay in the local area for the next six months. What details will NPR contain? NPR will have the following details: Name of the person Relationship to head of the house Father's name Mother's name Spouse's name Sex Date of birth Marital Status Place of Birth Nationality as declared Present address of usual residence Duration of stay at present address Permanent residential address Occupation/ Activity Educational qualification Photograph Ten Fingerprints (i.e. Prints of ten fingers of both hands) Two Iris Prints (prints of both eyes) The biometrics will be collected as per the processes and standards laid down by the Unique Identification Authority of India. Citizens should also provide proof for date of birth. Those who have Aadhaar card should produce the card to the enumerator and the number will be entered in the NPR booklet. 

Those who have enrolled for Aadhaar but did not get the Aadhaar card, can produce the UIDAI acknowledgement slip. How is a person supposed to register for the NPR? During the first phase of Census 2011, enumerators have visited every household and have collected the details required for the NPR in a paper format. These forms have been scanned and the data has been entered into an electronic database in two languages -Kannada and English. Biometric attributes such as photograph, ten fingerprints and two iris images will be added to the NPR database by organising enrolment camps in each local area. The enrolment will be done in the presence of government servants appointed for this purpose. Here is how the process is supposed to be conducted. ‘Social audit of the collected data for transparency’ According to the FAQ, after the collection of biographic data collected by a government servant at the doorstep of the individual and the biometrics collected in the presence of government servants, the biographic data along with the photograph will be displayed in the local area for inviting claims and objections. The lists will also be scrutinized by the local officials. “These lists would also be placed in the Gram Sabhas and Ward Committees. Once the vetting by the local authorities is completed, the NPR database will be finalized. This process of social audit would bring in transparency and equity,” says the website. It is not clear how this is going to be implemented practially, as most wards in Bengaluru don't have ward committees yet. Even if there are ward committees, there is no way for ward committee members to verify each indovidual in a given area. There is no clarity on what strategies will be adopted for social audit. Too many cards, too much confusion? Enumerators say the card will arrive at the doorsteps of people after this verification drive, of which UIDAI officials seem to be unaware of. However, which card is supposed to arrive, and when? Earlier there were proposals for Aadhaar smart card which will have biometric details required for verification embedded in chips. Once the central government’s leadership changed, there were proposals to go with National Population register instead of Aadhaar details, towards which the government stepped up the efforts. There were predictions that Aadhaar will become redundant with this process. In August 2014, the Home Ministry officially announced its plan to create a massive database of Indian residents which will result in issuing National Identity Card. This was also a proposal the NDA manifesto to provide identity cards to citizens to identify illegal immigrants. So there is another card proposed now - the National Identity Card. According to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, the Registrar General of Citizen Registration, or any officer authorised by him should issue National Identity Card to every citizen of India whose particulars are entered in the National Register of Indian citizens. But the National Identity Card right now is supposed to be given to every person living in India (not just citizens with voting rights). But there will be a way to identify citizens with voting rights as well. This is imagined to have varying colours to identify citizens and noncitizens, but there is no clarity on the entire scheme yet, on public domain. So that’s one more card in your card holder, with sensitive information about you loaded into it. National identity card - representative picture, provided by Census India website. UIDAI-appointed registrars are conducting enrolments for Aadhaar in 24 states and union territories including Karnataka. 

In the rest of the country, the Registrar General of India (Census department) is conducting enrolments for the National Population Register (NPR). Data collected for NPR will be passed on to UIDAI as well for Aadhaar generation. For this purpose, there are NPR states and non-NPR states defined in the UIDAI website, of which Karnataka falls under non-NPR list. In the non-NPR states, like Karnataka, Census Department is doing only the verification, based on Census-2011, as biometric details have already been taken through Aadhaar. What are the legal provisions under which the NPR is being created? The Citizenship Act 1955 was amended in 2004,  by inserting Section 14A which provides for the following: The Central Government may compulsorily register every citizen of India and issue National Identity Card. The Central Government may maintain a National Register of Indian Citizens and for that purpose establish a National Registration Authority. On and from the date of commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003, the Registrar General, India, appointed under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 (18 of 1969) shall act as the National Registration Authority and he shall function as the Registrar General of Citizen Registration. The Central Government may appoint such other officers and staff as may be required to assist the Registrar General of Citizen Registration in discharging his functions and responsibilities. 

The procedure to be followed in compulsory registration of the citizens of India shall be such as may be prescribed What is the connection between NPR and Aadhaar (UID Number)? The NPR is a register of people who have lived in India for last six months or going to live in India for next six months. The data collected in NPR after authentication will be sent to UIDAI for de-duplication and issue of Aadhaar Number. Thus the register will contain three elements of data - demographic data, biometric data and the Aadhaar number. There is no exception for people to register under NPR, even though they already have voter IDs or Aadhaar cards. They have to undergo the processes like the collection of data at the doorstep of the individual by authorized persons, collection of biometrics, authentication through social audit, verification by authorities etc mandatorily. What is the background of National Population register? In 1986, a pilot scheme was implemented for issue of identity cards to residents in selected border areas of Rajasthan. 

In 1993 a legislation - The Specified Areas (Issue of Identity Cards to Residents) Bill was introduced in the Parliament but could not be passed. After the Kargil war, a Group of Ministers (GoM) that reviewed the National Security system recommended compulsory registration of citizens and noncitizens living in India, which would facilitate preparation of a national register of citizens. The GoM also recommended that all citizens should be given a Multipurpose National Identity Card (MPNIC) and non-citizens should be issued identity cards of a different colour and design. The recommendation was accepted by the Government in 2001 Following this, the Citizenship Act 1955 was amended in 2004 by inserting Section 14A, which allowed the Central Government to compulsorily register every citizen of India, issue National Identity card and maintain a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC). The Registrar General, India was designated as the Registrar General of Citizen Registration. The rules were also framed to support implementation of the  act. A pilot project was conducted between 2003 and 2006 in several places across the country to test the processes and procedures. The results of the pilot were placed before an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) which recommended the creation of an NPR as the first step towards creating a National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC). The NPR is the master database, of which, the NRIC would be a sub-set. Any wrong information given to enumerators will attract penalties under Citizenship Rules 2003. 

Concerns over the way the data is handled Sindhu Naik who questioned the enumerator and got answers to many of her doubts, raises concerns regarding the process. The way the updation is being done - she fears that it could result in the same type of errors that exist in the current voter id process. 

She has the following doubts: Even if the data and the Aadhaar number is verified by the household in the NPR booklet, how to ensure that it is currently entered into the computer system? What if the data entry person makes a data entry mistake? 

What if the name on the Aadhaar card does not match the name in the NPR? Which data will be considered authentic? What about families who are not there when the enumerator comes? She is also concerned about the confidentiality of the data. The difference between the existing Aadhaar card and the National Identity Card is that, Aadhaar has no legal sanctity, whereas the National Identity Card is legally allowed, as a bill has already been passed in the parliament in this regard. Aadhaar is supposed to be optional, while your entry in NPR is compulsory if you want to live as a citizen of India. We tried to get more information on the issue including Aadhaar smart cards and National Identity Cards. However the UIDAI officials responded saying they have no knowledge of the process that is going on. 

Hence there is no clarity on whether the card the enumerators are talking about is UIDAI smart card or National Identity Card. Write to Author  ·  Write to Editor Akshatha M Akshatha M is a Staff Journalist at Citizen Matters. She tweets at @akshata1. - See more at: http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/after-aadhaar-now-you-ll-get-one-more-biometric-card#sthash.etFJO2WX.dpuf