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.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

9296 - Prime Minister’s Office helps aged couple in Kerala enrol for Aadhaar cards at home - Economic Times

Aman Sharma, ET Bureau Jan 29, 2016, 01.32PM IST

NEW DELHI: Over several months, Raja Sivaram, a financial consultant in Kerala, knocked on many doors to get Aadhaar cards for his aged parents, who weren't physically mobile enough to be able to visit an enrolment centre. He tried through various channels to get this done at home but to no avail.

Last Thursday, an exasperated Sivaram wrote to the Prime Minister's Office. On Sunday morning, an Aadhaar team arrived at his residence in Palakkad, with a computer, webcam, fingerprinting machine and an eye scanner to record the biometrics of his 90-year-old father and 83-year-old mother.
"It was a simply amazing experience... I wanted to shift with my parents from Palakkad to Coimbatore but they have no identity documents of their own. I hence wanted to get them an Aadhaar card before we shift out... Last Thursday, I wrote to PM and within three days, it was all done," Sivaram told ET on the phone from Palakkad.

"I am shifting to Coimbatore today with my parents and they promise that I will get an online copy of the Aadhaar cards in a week's time and physical copies in a month," he said. Sivaram is one among lakhs of citizens who have successfully approached the Centre to resolve their grievances since Narendra Modi took over in May 2014.
According to Jitendra Singh, minister of state for PMO, the government received eight lakh citizen grievances last year and resolved 6.8 lakh out of them, while the rest are pending for purely technical reasons. During the UPA government years, only about 2 lakh grievances came to the Centre yearly, he said.
"People (during the UPA regime) did not hope that complaints will be solved and saw little purpose in lodging them," Singh told ET. "Under us, four times the number of grievances than earlier came last year, which shows people's trust in promptness of the Modi government."
The prime minister is leading the drive. At his monthly PRAGATI meeting on Wednesday, Modi told secretaries to ensure "top-level monitoring" of all citizen grievances. The initiative is clearly adding to Modi's popularity. "I want to thank the PM and his team from the bottom of my heart. A common man's plea was heard within three days and this would give many people hope," said Sivaram.
He had got an email with a complaint number within minutes of writing to the PMO on January 21, and in the next 24 hours he got four phone calls from the Aadhaar processing centre in Bengaluru asking for his address. On Saturday, January 23, the local Aadhaar centre called him to say its representatives would be at his home on Sunday at 11 am.
"As promised, two persons came on Sunday with all the paraphernalia, set up the computer and other scanners, filled up the forms and took biometrics —all in an hour's time," he said. PMO minister Singh narrated a recent incident in which a retired colonel approached the PMO with a complaint, saying his 89-year-old mother was not getting the family pension after his father, a retired superintending engineer in CPWD, passed away in 2014 at the age of 94.
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  • "This was despite his father writing in 2010 to the department of pensions to include his wife's name for family pension in the event he passed away. But the wife's name was not registered for it," Singh said. After receiving his grievance, Singh called up the colonel and assured him that the pension will restart soon. "His father drew a pension of Rs 40,000 and the wife was entitled to a pension of Rs 25,000 per month. I ordered that the papers be sent to the bank the same day," Singh said.

    A letter sent subsequently by the colonel to the PMO mentions how he did not even know that the person who called him was the minister of state. "I looked up the website to realise Jitendra Singh was the MoS, PMO. I called back to thank the minister himself who told me that it was the PM's directive that no woman who has lost her husband recently should be further traumatised by delayed paperwork on pensions," the letter said.