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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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

9320 - DBT regime may evolve into a social security platform - The Hindu

NEW DELHI, February 4, 2016

A unified national database of beneficiaries will help automatically trigger new benefits such as vaccine shots.


There will be a unified national database of beneficiaries that can be updated in real-time and automatically trigger new benefits.

The government has drawn up an ambitious plan to scale up the present regime for direct transfer of benefits to the poor under various welfare schemes, by creating a unified national database of beneficiaries that can be updated in real-time and automatically trigger new benefits such as vaccine shots for a newborn baby.

The blueprint drawn up over the past three months aims to transform the direct benefits transfer (DBT) regime launched in January 2013, into a social security platform linked to the beneficiary database that will have details about the household.
“Once we have the database, and the wherewithal to update it, event-based information from a household can make it possible for departments to activate new benefits from them, such as a vaccine for a baby (once her or his birth is registered), or nutritional support for lactating and expectant mothers,” said Peeyush Kumar, Joint Secretary in charge of direct benefits transfer at the Cabinet Secretariat.

“There is a need for a social security platform, which we have been looking for last 2-3 months. This has been under discussion for some time within the Finance Ministry, and later, in the Cabinet Secretariat,” Mr Kumar said at a day-long workshop hosted here by the secretariat and the Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion.

“We realised early on that having a bank account alone is not enough. While Aadhaar is a great idea, it doesn’t have any household data and is a portable identity so cannot be linked to the taluka and tehsil levels. So we are looking at a unified beneficiary database that captures and links the bank accounts, Aadhaar number and mobile number with households,” he said.
While the trinity of Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile connectivity, referred to as JAM, would still play a key role, the government believes there are still several operational issues with the three elements that will take time to sort out. For instance, improvement in mobile network coverage and higher enrolments under Aadhaar would take time.

“So we have about 18 months time till these are sorted out. Like a Hindi movie cop, we don’t want to arrive after the event, so we are looking at what could be the shape of government services then, with a social security platform,” Mr Kumar said.

A committee in the Cabinet Secretariat is also working with the Finance Ministry to create a network of 2 million cash points such as kirana stores, chemists and Grameen Dak Sewaks in 6 lakh villages by March 2017, so that getting the cash in hand isn’t an ordeal for rural poor.

Keywords: DBT regimevaccine shotsCentre for Digital Financial Inclusiondirect benefit transfer regime