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.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

9451 - NDA govt aims to pass Aadhaar Bill in 10 days - Live Mint



The legislation has been introduced in Lok Sabha as a money bill to ensure its passage is not stalled by Rajya Sabha

Remya Nair and Gyan Varma

New Delhi: With key reforms such as the goods and services tax (GST) and the bankruptcy code likely to be taken up only in the second half of the budget session, the government is looking to push for the passage of the Aadhaar bill in the first half itself.

A senior government official, who did not want to be identified, said the government is confident that the Aadhaar bill will be passed by 16 March—the day the budget session will break for a one-month recess.

“The Aadhaar bill should get passed in the first half itself. In the second half of the budget session, we can hopefully see the passage of GST and bankruptcy code,” the official said.
After the recess, the budget session will resume on 25 April and go on till 13 May.

The government introduced the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, in the Lok Sabha last week as a money bill to ensure its passage is not stalled by the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is short of majority.

The NDA has the support of 64 members of Parliament (MPs) in the Rajya Sabha out of the total 245 MPs.

The government move is significant because the first two weeks of budget session witnessed bitter tussle between the government and the opposition, especially the Congress and the Left parties.

The bill seeks to make the use of Aadhaar number mandatory for government subsidies, while addressing concerns regarding privacy and protection of personal information.

The government is hopeful that making Aadhaar number mandatory will help plug leakages and bring down its subsidy bill, which has been budgeted at R2.5 trillion in 2016-17. It will also help India’s push towards a cashless economy.

It will also reduce the uncertainty surrounding Aadhaar after the Supreme Court restricted its use to only a few government schemes till a Constitution bench rules on a bunch of petitions that has objected to Aadhaar on the grounds of privacy violation.

The Rajya Sabha cannot make amendments to a money bill passed by the Lok Sabha and can only make recommendations. It also has to return a money bill to the Lok Sabha within 14 days from the date of receipt, thus ensuring a time-bound process. Further, such bills cannot be referred to a joint committee of Parliament.

This is the second time the government has opted for the money bill route to ensure that the bills do not get stuck in the Rajya Sabha.

It had brought in the Black Money (undisclosed foreign income and assets) and Imposition of Tax Bill, 2015, as a money bill. It had also initially considered bringing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2015 as a money bill but decided against it.
While the black money Act has been enacted, the bankruptcy code is with the standing committee.

Political analysts feel that the NDA government is constantly in conflict with opposition parties, which will affect its legislative agenda.

“If the Aadhaar bill was taken to Rajya Sabha, the opposition parties would have supported the bill. The government is constantly in conflict with the opposition, and it will only affect the performance and legislative agenda of the government. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is no longer the party in opposition; it should realize that it is in power,” said Abhay Kumar Dubey, a New Delhi-based political analyst associated with the Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).