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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Monday, March 7, 2016

9395 - Direct benefit transfer plan needs better delivery network, says Economic Survey - Live Mint

Sat, Feb 27 2016. 12 27 AM IST



Report stresses the need for improving business correspondent network to ensure that the exclusion risk is satisfactorily addressed

Remya Nair and Meenal Thakur


New Delhi: The government’s ambitious direct benefit transfer (DBT) plan has run into a digital challenge.

In rural areas, the preparedness levels for the implementation of the so-called JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile) for effective delivery of the government’s social security schemes is very low, finds the economic survey 2015-16 released on Friday.

Pointing out that last mile financial inclusion is lagging, the report stressed the need for improving the business correspondent (BC) network to ensure that the exclusion risk is satisfactorily addressed.

“Despite huge improvements in financial inclusion due to Jan Dhan, the JAM preparedness indicators suggest that there is still some way to go before bank-beneficiary linkages are strong enough to pursue DBT without committing exclusion errors. In that sense, the JAM agenda is currently jammed by the last-mile challenge of getting money from banks into beneficiaries’ hands, especially in rural India,” the survey said. “Jan Dhan’s vision must truly succeed before much of India can JAM,” it added.
The survey said that the centre can invest in last-mile financial inclusion by further improving BC networks and promoting the spread of mobile money. The recent licensing of banks will help.
It also pitched for increasing the commission rates for business correspondents to ensure that they are incentivised for remaining active.

The survey said that using JAM in schemes where leakages are high and in transactions controlled by the central government will be very effective.

“If the amount of leakages in a given scheme/area is huge then it can be next target for introduction of JAM as subsidies with higher leakages will have larger returns from introducing JAM. Similarly, control of central government will reduce administrative challenges of coordination and political challenges of opposition by interest groups. Based on these two criteria—leakages and central government control—survey suggests fertiliser subsidies and within-government transfers as two most promising areas for introduction of JAM.”

It cited the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to illustrate the point that delivering within-government transfers via JAM can help other centrally sponsored schemes reduce idle funds, lower corruption and improve the ease of doing business.

It suggested sharing of fiscal savings from DBT with states to make them stakeholders and encouraging them to invest in first-mile capacity (by improving beneficiary databases). 
In states where preparedness levels are too low to implement JAM, it proposed alternative models like biometrically-authenticated physical update or BAPU, which offers the prospect of lower leakages without the risk of exclusion errors.
States such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have very low levels of JAM preparedness.
The government has been trying to bring in more schemes under DBT, wherein the subsidy amount gets directly transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
This helps reduce leakages and ensures that the subsidies reach the intended beneficiaries.

The JAM trinity was mentioned in the last economic survey also but in the context of the public distribution system. However, its implementation is not as easy as it is made out to be, said Dipa Sinha, an activist with the Right to Food campaign and a professor of Economics at Ambedkar University, Delhi.
“There are issues in the implementation of JAM in fertiliser subsidies. We have no system of identifying the beneficiaries. One way of identification is through checking land records but how do you verify that a person is doing agriculture and will use this fertiliser? Most people who practise agriculture don’t have pattas (document of ownership) and usually tillers are not land owners. The first step is to set the land records right, which is not an easy task,” she said.

“Without solving these problems, the government will end up keeping out the small farmers. I don’t think we are ready. This is not the solution.”