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 10, 2016

9333 - Very few pensioners opt for digital life certificates

MYSURU, February 9, 2016

Very few pensioners opt for digital life certificates

One would think that the option of submitting a digital life certificate would make a pensioner’s life easy, considering it saves the bother of travelling to the disbursing centre every year, irrespective of where he/she lives and their health conditions.

However, in Karnataka, including in the IT capital of Bengaluru, the Union government’s ambitious Jeevan Pramaan scheme to allow pensioners this option has very few takers. In Bengaluru, those opting for digital certificates have not even reached the double digit.

Though the scheme was rolled out in 2014, the number of pensioners opting for biometric-enabled digital certificate has not crossed 1,000 across the State, according to an official in the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), Kozhikode, which is overseeing its implementation in Karnataka and Kerala. The Central government pensioners alone number close to two lakh in Karnataka, besides State government, and armed forces pensioners.

A representative of the lone Common Service Centre (CSC) run by NIELIT in Bengaluru said they were unable to enrol more than five to six pensioners ever since they signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NIELIT a year ago. “There is no demand for digital certificates. So, we have discontinued issuing them,” he said.

Jeevan Pramaan gives pensioners an option to submit a digital certificate instead of presenting themselves physically once a year before the pension disbursing agency, which in most cases is the bank. It is useful for sick and infirm pensioners and those who have relocated to a different city.

NIELIT, an autonomous body of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, has identified 39 CSCs and equipped them with a biometric reading device. This is uploaded to the central database, which is made accessible to the pension disbursing agency.

Ashok S. Kololgi, Secretary of Karnataka Central Government Pensioners’ Association, told The Hindu that pensioners are not even aware of the existence of CSCs. They should be spread across the city to enable pensioners to go to the nearest one, he said. Also, banks should also have the infrastructure to issue these certificates, he said.

However, NIELIT officials said private agencies do not come forward to take up the work as they need to collect no more than Rs. 10 for each enrolment.

“Earlier, the remuneration for each enrolment by the CSC was Rs. 50, but it has now been brought down to Rs. 10. The CSCs will have to sign a MoU with us,” the official said.

Though NIELIT officials said banks that volunteer to enrol pensioners for Jeevan Pramaan scheme will also be given the biometric reading device, many pensioners said their banks insisted on their physical presence for the life certificate.

Pensioners have to produce Aadhaar card, pension payment order number, bank account number, bank name, and mobile number Jeevan Pramaan scheme uses Aadhaar platform for biometric authentication of pensioner

Details available at NIELIT, Kozhikode (0495-2287266)