The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Saturday, February 13, 2016

9354 - NDA govt rewriting subsidy rules - Live Mint

The government to start direct benefit transfer scheme for kerosene from 1 April

Gireesh Chandra Prasad

New Delhi: The oil ministry’s decision last week to credit financial assistance directly to the bank accounts of poor consumers for buying kerosene would save the exchequer at least Rs.2,000 crore a year, when fully implemented, and help take subsidy reforms on fossil fuels to their conclusion, taking advantage of the prevailing low prices.

The poor man’s fuel is the last petroleum product to be chosen for market-linked pricing because of its political sensitivity and because it is sold through states’ vast public distribution network, unlike petrol, diesel and LPG which are directly sold by fuel retailers IOC, HPCL and BPCL.

Market-linked pricing of kerosene and transfer of financial assistance to the bank accounts of the poor would start as a pilot project in 26 districts across eight states from 1 April.

In case of LPG which is already sold at market rates, the government decided last week to limit subsidy transfers to the bank accounts of only those customers with annual incomes below Rs.10 lakh.

Both decisions come at a time when the Indian basket of crude oil is at $34 a barrel, the lowest in a decade.

“The bearish trend in oil price might stay for some time, but would not remain so forever. The government seems to be making use of this window of opportunity to achieve subsidy reforms in the oil sector,” said D.K. Joshi, director and chief economist at research firm Crisil.

Lower oil price has also enabled the government to boost its revenue by increasing excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs.10.2 and Rs.9.97 a litre, respectively, in seven instalments since November 2014. While this did not pinch consumers, they were denied of the full benefit of the decline in global oil prices.

Although the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had in 2013 announced that fuel marketing companies could raise diesel prices by 50 paise a month to bring the administered price close to the market-determined price, the companies often did not exercise that right in the absence of a green signal from the oil ministry, as global oil prices were still high.

The Narendra Modi administration was able to take advantage of the subsequent fall in global prices to decontrol diesel price fully in October 2014, which led to an immediate price cut of Rs.3.5 per litre. At present, retailers make no revenue loss on selling petrol or diesel.

The fall in global price is also reflected in the fact that the Central government’s share of oil subsidy, which had touched Rs.97,000 crore in 2012-13, is estimated to be Rs.30,000 crore in the current fiscal. Of this, Rs.22,000 crore is for LPG and the remaining Rs.8,000 crore for kerosene. At present, kerosene, which has a market price of Rs.28 per litre, comes at a discount of Rs.13.

The oil ministry has also promised financial incentives to states that volunteer for lower kerosene allocation. If it results in lowering the total allocation of subsidized kerosene to states from 86.85 lakh kilolitres this fiscal to 71.30 lakh kilolitres, which according to the National Sample Survey of 2011-12 is the estimated total consumption of kerosene a year, savings to the exchequer could be at least Rs.2,011 crore a year. It is believed that about 40% of the subsidized kerosene is diverted illegally for adulterating diesel.

According to the government, the actual requirement of kerosene would be even lower, considering the improvements in village electrification and in making LPG available to more poor households. Through the “Give-Back” scheme of the government, nearly 45 lakh new LPG connections have been given to the poor.

Limiting LPG subsidy to those with annual income below Rs.10 lakh is expected to reduce subsidy by about Rs.300 crore a year at current price, assuming that each consumer who will be denied the subsidy from 1 January would be using 5-8 cylinders a year. According to rating agency ICRA, the savings for the government could be Rs.500 crore, which could increase materially if the income threshold for LPG subsidy is lowered progressively. In Delhi, a 14.2kg LPG cylinder comes at a retail price of Rs.608, on which the Central government pays a subsidy of Rs.198. About 90% of the 16 crore LPG consumers get subsidy on their bank accounts.

In 2012, the UPA government first capped the total number of subsidized cylinders available to a household at six, but later raised it to nine and then to 12 by January 2014.

Gireesh Chandra Prasad