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.


Monday, March 7, 2016

9399 - Linking Aadhaar to better healthcare - The Hindu

MUMBAI, February 27, 2016




US health expert says India’s unique identification system and mobile phone penetration can be tapped for treatment of cancer and other ailments

The Aadhaar card’s utility has so far been limited to getting an LPG subsidy, or as an address and identity proof, but it found an unlikely mention as an effective health tool on Friday on the first day of a massive oncology conclave, ‘A Conference of New Ideas in Cancer — Challenging Dogmas’, organised by the Tata Memorial Centre to mark its platinum jubilee.

According to a presentation by Edward Trimble, director of the Centre of Global Health at the US National Cancer Institute, India can tap its unique identification number and mobile phone penetration for better patient care.

Speaking to The Hindu , he said: “In my own country, the US, we don’t have a unique personal identifier used routinely in the healthcare system, which makes it very difficult to link the records from the doctor’s office, the hospital, the pathology laboratory and the pharmacy. So what is impressive to me is that India has set up the Aadhaar system. I have been to the headquarters, I have seen the fingerprints, the iris scan, the very quick turnaround (30 seconds to identify a person). If this is integrated into the healthcare system, India is probably further ahead of many other countries in terms of being able to link all this data.”

The linking of data can come in handy in the treatment of various medical conditions, particularly cancer. “Once the data are linked, you can track if people have been screened for cancer, if they had a positive screen and if they received the appropriate evaluation and what treatment did they get for their cancer and did they get the right prescription,” Dr Trimble said.
He cited the example of France, that he said had a very good system, where each citizen has something like a data card. “When you go to see a doctor, you give them your data card and the doctor puts it in the computer and can see if there are any previous issues, laboratory studies. At the end of the visit, the doctors types on the computer and that data automatically go on to the data card. So France is possibly the furthest ahead in terms of being able to capture the data. In the UK, the NHS does a pretty good job of gathering the data because probably 90 per cent of the people are treated in the same health system,” he said.

This kind of compiled data can be an effective tool. During his presentation that was on the future of oncology and out of the box ideas, Dr Trimble mentioned the need to go beyond cancer registries and the need to map the burden of risk factors for cancer, the details of treatment, patient reported outcome and links to other key datasets. Aadhaar, with its biometric identifiers, could fill in for the need of datasets for healthcare.
India’s mobile phone penetration, which crossed the one billion mark in January, can also be used to improve access to healthcare, with phones allowing patients to reach doctors or nurses through a text message, Dr Trimble said. “India has great computer experts and we should be able to help develop the software, so that you could get a quick response from a doctor or nurse using mobiles," he said.