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


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


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.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

9259 - Aadhaar now a birthday gift - Telegraph India

Tuesday , January 12 , 2016 |

Ranchi, Jan. 11: Babies will be assigned an Aadhaar number on the very day they are born, the state IT department has promised, the ambitious scheme to be rolled out in villages in the next two months with the help of anganwadi workers who would be "e-equipped" with tablets.
State IT secretary Sunil Kumar Barnwal today said that his department would be using the services of 800 anganwadi workers who would use tablets to register and generate Aadhaar numbers online for the newborns.

"The process for ordering the tablets began in the last week of December 2015," Barnwal told the media at Suchana Bhavan this afternoon while presenting a one-year report card of the state IT department.

Barnwal, who is also secretary to chief minister Raghubar Das, said as of now, Jharkhand had recorded 90 per cent Aadhaar coverage, one of the highest in the country, and fresh efforts were being made to reach the 100 per cent mark.
Sarvesh Singhal, director of Jharkhand Space Application Centre (JSAC), a wing of the state IT department, explained how the Aadhaar initiative would work.
"Anganwadi workers can connect with the last mile of society, even in remote places. We will give them tablets, train them on usage so that soon after a baby is born in their respective areas, they can visit the health centre or home to record the parents' details. Once this is done, an Aadhaar number will be generated immediately for their newborn," he told The Telegraph.
Around 300 permanent enrolment centres would be set up across the state at the block level. After a child attains five years, his/her biometrics would be recorded at these centres as mandated under the Aadhaar system. The Aadhaar number assigned to the child at the time of birth would, however, remain the same, he said.
Singhal explained that with the state's Aadhaar enrolment at 85 per cent to 90 per cent, newborns were the only ones left to record. "Only the newborn category is left, which we are targeting to raise our numbers," he said and listed the number of benefits that would accrue as a result of these enrolments.
"This exercise will give us monthly and annual figures of births, gender and other details at block/village levels. It will also help us better maintain mortality rates. Aadhaar would also help track the status of the child as and when he/she grows up and gets enrolled in school and college," he added.
Singhal revealed that on December 29, 2015, the state issued work orders for procuring tablets from Micromax, which has been selected by the Centre's Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals.
Earlier, highlighting his department's major achievements in the last year, Barnwal said the state government had been aggressively promoting IT enabled services both for citizens and the government machinery.
"In one year, under e-district project, we have added 54 new citizen centric services to the existing five and rolled these out across the state. This apart, a host of apps were launched, IT talent hunts conducted and MoUs signed with the Centre and other private partners for setting up Indian Institute of Information Technology," he said.
The department, he added, was also working to set up four more STPIs (Software Technology Parks of India) at Adityapur (Seraikela-Khersawan), Sindri, Deoghar and Bokaro, connect 1,200 panchayats with network and power problems with functional Internet services, formulate policies on IT enabled start-ups and IT services/ITeS, and set up an IT city in the HEC area, among others.
Barnwal also said that a team from Microsoft was likely to visit Jharkhand soon explore opportunities, but did not specify a time-frame. He said during a meeting with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela a couple of months ago in Mumbai, he had passed on an invitation from the chief minister.
"A team headed by Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik was to come in December 2015. The visit did not materialise. But they will send a team soon to talk with state government," he said.