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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Friday, January 8, 2016

9214 - EPF withdrawal process made simpler - Live Mint


If certain employee details are available, employer attestation is no longer needed, which speeds up the process


           Mint

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has been taking various steps to make EPF accounts more user friendly. The latest step in that direction is doing away with the need for employers’ approval at the time of EPF withdrawal. The process so far required you to route your withdrawal request through the employer as employer attestation was needed. This often led to unwanted delays.

This is set to change. According to EPFO, if details such as Aadhaar and bank account number are linked to your Universal Account Number (UAN) and know-your-customer (KYC) verification is done by the employer, then an employee can directly approach EPFO for withdrawal using UAN (this is a unified EPF account under which you can park all your EPF money even when you change jobs, thereby ensuring portability of EPF money from one organisation to another).

“EPFO has launched simplified and brief forms for withdrawal. These are one-page forms requiring only 5-6 types of information to be submitted,” stated the 3 December EPFO press release announcing this initiative. An official, on condition of anonymity, said the organisation will be taking steps to popularise withdrawal of EPF money online. “The main motive is to identify the employee directly rather than through the employer,” the official said.

The government had launched UAN last year and all active EPF subscribers have been allotted this number. The employer verifies the KYC details through a digital signature, but for withdrawal, you need to seed this number with Aadhaar and bank account number.

Check if you have a UAN on EPFO’s website (http://goo.gl/TlwQTV). Type in your EPF number and a message will appear if you have been allotted a number. For the number itself, approach your employer, who will take down your KYC details, feed those into your UAN, and verify it through a digital signature. You need to fill in details of your bank account number along with Indian Financial System Code (IFSC), and Aadhaar.

So, if you have an active UAN seeded with all the mandatory details, here is how you can go about making a claim.

The older process
To start with, you need to know that EPF doesn’t allow you to withdraw money before a cooling period of two months. So every time you change jobs, you need to transfer that money. With UAN, doing this has become easier. The PF office allows full withdrawal for medical reasons, on voluntary retirement, and a few other situations.
Your PF account has two components: EPF and Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS). The employer’s contribution go into both. To withdraw the pension money, you need to fill up forms 19 and 10C. If you do not want to withdraw the pension money, you can get a scheme certificate using the same forms. Doing so will continue your pension account even if you encash EPF. You can submit the scheme certificate with the next organisation that you join and carry forward your pension account.
If you want a loan or want to make a partial withdrawal, use form 31.
The employer sends these forms to EPFO, which then processes the request. Depending on the type of request, it takes 10-15 days from EPFO receiving the forms for the money to get credited to your bank account.

The new process
After launch of UAN, EPFO has started collecting the KYC details attested by the employer. According to the press release, the process of withdrawal for such employees has been made simpler as the employee no longer needs the employer to verify the form(s). She can provide her mobile phone number, UAN, a cancelled cheque of her bank account and address as basic details and submit these with just her signature.
“Based on the KYC submitted by (the) employer, the money will be sent to his/her bank account provided by the employer while seeding attested KYCs,” the press release stated.
The shorter forms (they used to be 2-4 pages long) are available on EPFO’s website (www.epfindia.com). Go to “Miscellaneous”, “Downloads”, “Claims forms”, and select the new forms with the word “UAN” before their names. You will find form 10C under Employees’ Pension Scheme, and forms 19 and 31 under Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme.
Keep your UAN and mobile phone number handy. Other details needed include postal address, date of joining and leaving the employer, employer’s address, and so on. In form 31, you also have to attach a cancelled cheque.
All the information you submit in these forms should match with what is in the UAN database. If details don’t match, you will have to repeat the process.
Submit the forms with the regional PF manager under whom the employer maintains or maintained the account. If you have the account number, it’s easy to identify the regional fund manager. Log on to the EPFO website and run an establishment search.
The EPFO official mentioned above said the number of days to process a claim varies across regional offices. “But on an average, it is 7-10 days,” he said. Currently, it takes about a month depending on when the employer sends the documents to the EPFO office.

Mint Money take
The option to withdraw one’s EPF money without employer’s consent is an important change, especially in cases where you can’t get in touch with your previous employer. Earlier, you had to fill up form 19 and get it attested from the earlier employer. And if that organisation had shut shop, you had to get the form attested from a branch manager of your bank.
“This (the new process) speeds up the process of claiming EPF money. It will bring down the instances of misuse by employers. There have been instances where organisations misused their approval powers as a tool to harass employees. But with the employer’s attestation no longer needed, employees may withdraw rather than transfer as it’s easier to do,” said Anil Rego, chief executive officer, Right Horizons, an investment advisory.
Mint Money recommends that you always transfer money from your previous EPF account to the new one when you change jobs. After all, it is a means to build a retirement corpus, and disruptions will affect the final returns. Moreover, transferring is easier now. Just give your UAN to the new employer, which will start contributing to the account. If you have older account(s), use the Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP) to transfer the money.
EPF is for keeps; it helps you build a sizeable nest egg. Tax benefits and employer’s contribution are added advantages. So, even if the withdrawal process has become simpler, don’t withdraw unless absolutely needed.