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, February 2, 2016

9257 - UIDAI Mum on Illegal Immigrants With Aadhaar Numbers - New Indian Express

By Akram Mohammed
Published: 11th January 2016 05:05 AM

BENGALURU: In what can only be termed ironical, illegal immigrants are increasingly finding it easy to obtain Aadhaar numbers, while police investigating their antecedents have found nothing but denial from Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

This despite a Supreme Court order which directs UIDAI to divulge the required information to law enforcement agencies.

The issue was discussed in a meeting of police officials from the State recently, after several requests by the law enforcement agencies regarding Aadhaar data of persons accused of crimes, did not evoke the necessary response.

A case in point was an incident reported in Bangarpet police station limits in Kolar district. Six months ago, three people were nabbed in connection with a petty crime. Police investigating the crime and checking the antecedents of the accused found they had valid Aadhaar numbers, after the three admitted they were immigrants from Bangladesh.

When the police tried to find out what documents had been submitted for them to procure the number, they were met with blank denial from UIDAI, which informed them that they were not authorised to divulge the information.

DG&IGP Om Prakash, commenting on the issue, acknowledged that police were facing such issues. “We have expressed our concerns and the issue is being dealt with at an appropriate level at the Centre,” he said. This will help law enforcement agencies in accessing the required information, he added.
Law enforcement agencies saw a ray of hope in the Supreme Court order of August last year. An interim order passed on August 11 in a writ petition (WP 494/2012) challenging the validity of Aadhaar card, read, “The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, ....., except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.”

Numbers Genuine
To a question on immigrants possessing Aadhaar numbers, a UIDAI official, on condition of anonymity, said that the Aadhaar numbers were genuine. “It might have been issued to immigrants, who have resided in the country long enough to get the required documents, using which Aadhaar numbers could be issued,” he said. He maintained that Aadhaar was not a document of citizenship.

Aadhaar numbers to immigrants has raised several questions, such as whether immigrants can access social welfare schemes such as Direct Benefit Transfer too and whether UIDAI was working on weeding out or cancelling such numbers.

While UIDAI officials said that there have been no processes to weed out such numbers, consumer activists have raised concerns over how Aadhaar numbers could be misused.

Consumer activist V L Somashekar said that such incidents, which have been reported across the country, were a good enough reason to delink Aadhaar numbers from welfare schemes.

“Immigrants are not eligible for benefits under such schemes. But such loopholes are being exploited,” he said. While such cases persist, it is surprising that Aadhaar numbers are considered valid identity documents even during elections, he added.