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

9433 - Simply put: What is the Bill giving ‘statutory backing’ to Aadhaar about? - Indian Express


The original purpose of the UID scheme was to establish the identity of individuals to ensure targeted delivery of subsidies and services under various welfare programmes of the government.

Written by Harish Damodaran
Updated: March 4, 2016 1:07 am 


Finance minister Arun Jaitley

On Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill in Lok Sabha to provide “statutory backing” to the scheme of issuing unique identification numbers to every resident and using this biometric information-based platform to make payments under welfare schemes.  HARISH DAMODARAN explains what this entails

Many of us have Aadhaar or the 12-digit UID number based on the demographic (name, date of birth and address) and biometric (fingerprint and iris scanning) information that we have submitted to the enrollment agency concerned. So, what does this new bill really achieve?

The original purpose of the UID scheme was to establish the identity of individuals to ensure targeted delivery of subsidies and services under various welfare programmes of the government. The idea here was to ensure these benefits were going to the intended recipients. The Aadhaar platform was to serve as a means to authenticate the identity of the purported beneficiary, while weeding out fictitious, duplicate or non-targeted recipients.

But hold on, don’t we already have Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in LPG cylinders that link customer connection and bank account numbers with Aadhaar? Besides, one hears even programmes like MGNREGA have Aadhaar-enabled payment systems today. And apparently, well over 98 crore individuals have been issued Aadhaar cards as of now.

All that is true: Indeed, since November 2014, some Rs 29,600 crore of subsidy payments have been transferred to over 15 crore beneficiaries under the DBT for LPG scheme. However, the Supreme Court ruled on September 23, 2013, that no person should suffer or be denied any service from the government for not possessing an Aadhaar card. In a subsequent ruling on August 11, 2015, the court said that the production of an Aadhaar card will not be a condition “for obtaining any benefits otherwise due to a citizen”, and directed the Centre to “give wide publicity in the electronic and print media… that it is not mandatory for a citizen to obtain an Aadhaar card”.

So, how has this government been implementing programmes like DBT for LPG?
Well, the Supreme Court’s August 11, 2015 order allowed the Aadhaar platform to be used for issue of foodgrains and kerosene under the PDS, and also for transfer of subsidy on LPG cylinders. On October 15, 2015, it also added payments under MGNREGA, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, old age/widow/disability pensions and the EPFO in the list of schemes for which the Aadhaar platform could be deployed. At the same time, the court reiterated that “the Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this court one way or the other”.

What was “the matter” being referred to?
There are a number of cases challenging the use of Aadhaar in government programmes and the alleged invasion of the right to privacy of citizens resulting from the scheme. These cases have been referred to a Constitution Bench that is to deliver its verdict. Till that happens, the use of the Aadhaar platform in government schemes would remain restricted.

What would the Bill that has been introduced now do?
The Bill seeks to give statutory backing to the processes of enrolment, authentication and use of Aadhaar-related information for delivery of various benefits, subsidies and services by the government. Further, it has provisions to guarantee the security and confidentiality of identity information and authentication records of every individual who has been issued an Aadhaar number. The fact that there is no law in place, based on which the Aadhaar enrolments and use in government programmes have been happening, always makes the UID scheme open to challenge. Nor is there any legal recourse now for a person in the event of any misuse of identity information collected in the course of enrolment or authentication. All this uncertainty would end once there is a law governing the Aadhaar project. And the fact that 95% of India’s adult population has already been issued UID cards, perhaps, also make‘ the ‘voluntary versus mandatory’ debate rather infructuous today.

- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/simply-put-what-is-the-bill-giving-statutory-backing-to-aadhaar-about/#sthash.23KI94Y6.dpuf