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 14, 2016

9514 - ‘OUR BABY HAS GROWN SO BIG’- Banglore Mirror


Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Mar 12, 2016, 04.00 AM IST

By: Kushala Satyanarayana


On Friday, Lok Sabha passed the Aadhaar Bill. Karnataka Card mooted eight years back by a committee headed by Nandan Nilekani was the inspiration

For S Bhattacharjee, the principal consultant with Centre for e-Governance of the Karnataka government, Friday was a nostalgic moment. Way back in 2008, Bhattacharjee was part of a sub-committee that evolved the concept plan for Karnataka Card, recognised largely as the precursor to the Aadhaar or UIDAI.

A computer science engineer from BITS Pilani, Bhattacharjee said, "Our plan was quite raw and UIDAI incorporated complex aspects like iris and biometrics. We feel proud that our baby has grown so big."

Fishing out the proceedings of the December 12, 2008 meeting, Bhattacharjee reminisces: "The committee on e-governance that was formed in 2007-08 was working towards bringing in some initiatives and it was discussed in that day's meeting to come up with a citizen-centric data hub followed by issuing identity cards to the people of Karnataka."

A group of officials of state government formed the core committee on e-governance; chaired by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani it was in the thick of discussion. "Nilekani, fancied the idea and set up a sub-committee to come out with a clear roadmap for the project. We were a group of about five people who prepared the concept plan for Karnataka Card,'' Bhattacharjee said.

The meeting had the participation of technical heads from Centre for e-Governance and the principal secretary, among others. The UPA government subsequently appointed Nilekani as the chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in June 2009. 

The concept plan prepared for a Karnataka Card was taken to a higher level and was implemented at a bigger scale. On Friday the idea culminated in the Lok Sabha approving the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016. The result, the highly guarded Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) which is housed in the our own backyard, clocked the data of 99,01,78,783 (99.01 crore) Aadhaar holders.

As on date, Karnataka's enrolment stands at 5,41,58,182 (5.41 crore) with the state capital - Bengaluru urban - leading at 78 lakh and rural at 8.48 lakh, followed by Belagavi district at 44 lakh and Mysuru at 29 lakh. The total target for Karnataka is 6.2 crore.

* I feel great and it was the UPA government that visualised the project. The government gave me a free hand to implement Aadhaar and I was assisted by a great team of talented bureaucrats from the system and people from the private sector. A big credit goes to TRAI chairman Ram Sewak Sharma. I congratulate the NDA government for its wisdom in continuing the project and bringing out a Bill
— NANDAN NILEKANI WHO SPEARHEADED AADHAAR BEING THE CHAIRMAN OF UIDAI 



SC over the years

October 2015 Refused to allow the use of Aadhaar by banks, stock exchanges and phone companies to curb financial irregularities, black money and terrorism

August 2015 The decision to sign up for Aadhaar should be entirely with the citizens. The "balance of interest" is better served if obtaining the unique identity number is made optional and not mandatory. Aadhaar card should not be used for any purpose other than the PDS scheme, particularly for distribution of foodgrains and cooking fuel such as kerosene. It should also be used for the LPG distribution scheme 

March 2014 The Centre should immediately withdraw instructions that make the cards mandatory for availing government schemes or subsidies

Sept 2013 The Aadhaar card should not be mandatory for availing of government services... nobody should be deprived of such facilities for want of the card