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 17, 2016

9531 - Aadhaar proving counterproductive: civil groups - The Hindu

NEW DELHI, March 15, 2016


Aadhaar proving counterproductive: civil groups

Aadhaar’s essential logic is one of invasion of privacy, not delivery of benefits: activist

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, which was passed in the Lok Sabha last week as a money bill, could spell disaster for India’s poor and marginalised, said activists at a media event in New Delhi on Monday.

Criticising the NDA regime’s decision to bypass discussion of the Aadhaar Bill in the Rajya Sabha by branding it as a money bill, Kavita Srivastava of the Right to Food Campaign said, “The States have their own concerns about the Aadhaar Bill, and that was why a discussion in the Rajya Sabha was vital. We, therefore, condemn the undemocratic passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill.”

Nikhil Dey of the People’s Action for Employment Guarantee said the justifications given by the government for linking delivery of social benefits to possession of an Aadhaar card were not borne out in practice.

“The government claims that the Aadhaar card will ensure higher efficiency, greater inclusiveness, and a reduction in corruption. But in Rajasthan, what we are getting are more inefficiency, more exclusion, and more corruption”, he said. “In Tonk district, for instance, 80% of the rightful beneficiaries were turned away due to biometric-related issues. In other districts, the inefficiency rate was 60%. Aadhaar neither prevents leakages of ration, particularly from the godown to shops, nor does it deter corruption”.

According to the activists, biometric authentication has made the process more painful for the beneficiaries. “Sometimes, the fingerprints do not match. Other times, there are connectivity issues. Often, it takes eight to ten minutes to authenticate one person’s biometrics. People are harassed by being made to come back multiple times. Thanks to Aadhaar, biometric mismatch has now become a legitimate cover for the state to deny people what is their due by law”, said Mr. Srivastava.

“It’s possible that sometimes the machines do not work, and in such cases they can do a manual override”, said Mr. Dey. “But this can be acceptable in, say, 4-5% of cases. But the rate of failure at present is 60-80%. Imagine the scope for corruption if manual override has to be resorted on such a vast scale. The majority of poor recipients will be completely at the mercy of the government officials. What is this if not opening up a new avenue for corruption?”

The civil society groups called for making entitlements under MGNREGS, pension scheme, and the Food Security Act (FSA) independent of Aadhaar card ownership. “Contrary to the government’s claims, Aadhaar is not a development intervention technology but a surveillance technology, and it’s essential logic is one of invasion of privacy, not delivery of benefits”, summed up Mr. Srivastava.

The civil society had come together to present their analysis of the 2016 Union Budget, and belonged to seven different campaigns.