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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Thursday, March 10, 2016

9467 - How Aadhaar legislation will help plug leakages in welfare schemes like PDS - Business Standard


Since the entire process will happen online, there is a trail of who gets what. It makes the process of auditing easier

Mayank Mishra  |  New Delhi 
March 9, 2016 Last Updated at 13:26 IST


No other project has suffered as much indifference as the one that seeks to provide portable identity to all residents of the country. Questions were raised, criticism poured in from various quarters and court cases followed. Yet, despite seven years of uncertain existence, the Unique Identification Authority of India is close to achieving a rare milestone of issuing unique identity number to one billion people.

Finally, there is going to be a much needed legislation in place to back its existence. With the passage of the legislation, which seems very likely now, the delivery of welfare schemes will get a facelift. Backed by a legislation, the government will have the option of using the Aadhaar platform to launch direct benefit transfer to intended beneficiaries for scores of welfare schemes.

What makes the Aadhaar platform suitable for direct benefit transfer? The platform has inbuilt mechanism to eliminate ghosts and duplicates. It does so by assigning a unique identity number to each resident. The identity remains unique because of the inclusion of biometrics like finger prints and iris. What is more, the platform offers benefits like portability to the beneficiaries. If I am in the list of beneficiaries of any of the government schemes, I will continue to get the benefits even if I change my place of residence.

Read more from our special coverage on "AADHAAR BILL"
Aadhaar Bill discussion in Lok Sabha from tomorrow



Since the entire process will happen online, there is a trail of who gets what. It makes the process of auditing easier. The Aadhaar platform can easily be aligned with government databases of welfare schemes.

The most unique feature of Aadhaar is that it facilitates authentication of any transaction. Here is how it can stop leakages in the public distribution system, for instance. The PDS system, as we all know, runs with the help of a large network of nearly 500,000 fair price shops. Despite being one of the oldest welfare schemes, there are reports of a large scale diversion of items meant for the poor.


In an Aadhaar-enabled system, each and every transaction can be authenticated. Suppose a beneficiary goes to a fair price shop to buy his monthly quota of ration. If the shop has a biometric authentication device connected to the entitlement database, every transaction at the shop will end up benefiting the intended beneficiaries. All that the beneficiary has to do is to authenticate whether he indeed is the intended beneficiary with the help of unique biometrics like finger prints or iris. Once the entire transaction moves to this platform, the leakages in the system will be a thing of the past.

The beauty of the biometric-based authentication system is that it is the individual who has to participate in the process, typically at the service delivery point, let us say the PDS system, to prove his identity. His presence and his consent is required to facilitate the transaction, empowering the beneficiaries in the entire welfare delivery mechanism. There is no way such a system can be manipulated to benefit anyone else other than the intended beneficiary.

Of course the process of moving over to an Aadhaar-enabled system may have its own set of complications. But they are not going to be insurmountable. Once there is a legislation in place and a consensus to switch over to a new system, all such implementation challenges can be tackled. After all, the country badly needs a better welfare delivery mechanism and Aadhaar platform offers a chance to do that.