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.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

9459 - Labour Ministry to give housing subsidies to workers using Aadhaar - The Hindu

NEW DELHI, March 7, 2016



Somesh Jha


Even as the Aadhaar Bill is to be passed in the Lok Sabha, the government has begun approving new subsidies to be delivered using the biometrics-backed Unique Identification or UID number.‎

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has approved a scheme to offer higher housing subsidies to 75 lakh beedi workers and miners working in non-coal mines using Aadhaar, senior government officials said. However, the UID Authority of India or UIDAI would find it difficult to capture their fingerprints owing to the nature of their work‎, according to its own biometric authentication standards.

The minister approved the proposal on Thursday, the same day that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 in Lok Sabha. The Bill, tabled as a Money Bill (not required Rajya Sabha’s approval) is aimed to give legal backing for transferring all government subsidies using Aadhaar.
“The Labour Minister has approved a dynamic and revolutionary scheme in which housing subsidy will be given through Aadhaar so that subsidy reaches the targeted beneficiary,” said a senior ministry official.

Under the Revised Integrated Housing Scheme of 2016, the Labour Ministry will give Rs 1.5 lakh as subsidy through direct benefit transfer, up from Rs 40,000 at present, to beedi and non-mine workers to build a house on their own land. The house will have earthquake-resistance structure, two rooms, kitchen, bathroom and closet area for drying clothes.

The move comes despite the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) itself suggesting construction and mining workers be put in list of exceptions to whom the Aadhaar system may not apply.

In a detailed document titled ‘Aadhaar Authentication Framework’, the UIDAI had said that people doing hard manual labour such as construction workers or mining workers may be treated as “exceptions” in the Aadhaar system as they have “all of their fingers in extremely poor condition with respect to fingerprint quality.”

“There will always be a set of population who will be temporarily or permanently excluded from a specific biometric system. We can term this set of people as ‘outliers’,” the UIDAI said, adding that in such cases, alternate biometrics could be used such as the use of iris scan.

“Direct transfer mechanism has a lot of benefits. It is true that the government may find it difficult to implement it in the initial stages but it is the appropriate long-term solution to target the beneficiaries accurately,” said Alakh N Sharma, Professor and Director at Delhi-based Institute for Human Development.

HOUSING SCHEME FOR WORKERS
The new Housing Scheme of the Labour Ministry will give assistance to workers having their own land with carpet area (the part enclosed within the wall) of at least 30 square meters. The subsidy amount will be released in three installments: first amount of Rs 37,500 will be given as advance, second Rs 90,000 after the construction of house reaches lintel level and third installment of Rs 22,500 after completion of construction work. The worker can give additional contribution at his or her own will.

Also, for the first time, the government may give Rs 1.5 lakh as an upfront amount to those workers who want to secure a bank loan to build house.

“The subsidy amount of Rs 1.5 lakh could be used as margin money to help them secure bank loans for building a house. Also, the new housing scheme will become a part of Prime Minister’s ‘Housing for All’ project,” the labour ministry official said. In 2014-15, the government constructed 16,552 houses for beedi and non-coal mine workers.

The ‘Housing for All’ project, which gives Rs 1 lakh as Central grant for a house under the slum rehabilitation programme and Rs 1.5 lakh to economically weaker sections category households, aims to build 2 crore houses in five phases till 2021-22.

House will have:
Earthquake-resistance structure, 2 Rooms, Kitchen, Bathroom, Closet for drying clothes