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

9228 - Digitization of PDS helped plug Rs4,200 crore in leakages: centre - Live Mint



As a result of govt’s efforts, 6.14 million bogus or duplicate ration cards have been cancelled in the past two years, says food ministry

Sayantan Bera

Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Cleaning up the back-end of the subsidized public distribution system (PDS) has helped weed out over 6 million bogus ration cards, plugging leaks to the tune of Rs.4,200 crore in two years, the food ministry said on Monday.

In its bid to better target subsidies and ensure leakage-free distribution of foodgrains, the government used direct benefit transfer (DBT) and automated ration shops, a statement issued by the ministry said.

DBT allows the transfer of subsidies to bank accounts of beneficiaries, who then buy food from the open market. Automation ensures foodgrains are distributed via ration shops through point-of-sale (PoS) devices that authenticate beneficiaries and record the quantity of subsidized grains given to a family.

While DBT is presently used in only the Union territories of Chandigarh and Puducherry, PoS devices are used in 59,500 ration shops. The target is to scale this up to 150,000 shops by March 2016 and 542,000 by March 2017, the ministry said.
States are using central assistance to install PoS devices in ration shops that are linked to the Aadhaar unique identification numbers of beneficiaries.

The linking of Aadhaar numbers with ration cards has gone up from 8% to 39% between April and December, the food ministry said.

As a result of these efforts, 6.14 million bogus or duplicate ration cards have been cancelled in the past two years, stopping the diversion and misuse of PDS foodgrains amounting to about Rs.4,200 crore.

Plugging leaks in PDS through digitization comes on top of the DBT scheme for subsidized domestic gas.

Under DBT for LPG, or the Pahal Scheme, 147.4 million beneficiaries have received Rs.29,826 crore in their bank accounts since the scheme was relaunched in November 2014. The government expects to save Rs.15,000 crore in LPG subsidy every year that would have been lost to leakages.

To successfully implement the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the central government has focused on end-to-end computerization, which will bring transparency and check leakages and diversion of foodgrain, the food ministry said in its statement.

So far, the beneficiary database has been digitized in 33 states and Union territories, while 17 states and Union territories are being allocated foodgrains online. In nine states and Union territories, the entire supply chain has been computerized.
The food law was enacted by Parliament in 2013 and entitles beneficiary households to draw 5kg of foodgrains per person per month at a subsidized price of Rs.2-3 per kg. The scheme is expected to cost the government Rs.1.2 trillion in 2015-16.
While 11 states and Union territories are yet to implement the law, 25 have done so. States that are yet to roll out the law include Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Presently, around 530 million people have been brought under the law.

A committee on restructuring the Food Corporation of India suggested in its report submitted in January that the government begin direct cash transfers of food subsidy because the existing delivery mechanisms lead to a leakage of as much as 47%. It estimated that cash transfers alone could save the exchequer Rs.30,000 crore every year.