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

9539 - Budget outlays too small to effectively run welfare schemes, say social activists by Scroll Staff - Scroll.In



Activists also challenge the government's proposal to make Aadhaar mandatory for social schemes.

Image credit:  PEEP Survey

Soon after the Budget was presented in the Parliament on February 29, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described its provisions as pro-poor, pro-farmer and pro-village. But two weeks on, seven grassroots campaigns working on the right to food, public health, education, sanitation, and the rural employment guarantee programme said that the Budget will fail to sustain existing welfare schemes.

In fact, when accounting for price rises and inflation, funds for vital programmes would actually be cut in real terms, they claimed.

To begin with, they said that the budget for food rations has actually decreased slightly, from Rs. 1.39 lakh crores in the revised estimates for 2015-'16 to Rs. 1.34 lakh crores in the 2016-'17 Budget estimates.

Several other programmes will also be curtailed, activists claimed. Dipa Sinha, an activist with the Alliance for Early Child Development, said that though the Modi government had for the first time introduced a chapter on mothers and children’s welfare in the Economic Survey document, it has actually cut the outlay for the Integrated Child Development Scheme, under which supplementary nutrition is provided to vulnerable children, and pregnant and lactating women.

The budget for the scheme was reduced from Rs 15,300 crore in revised estimates for last year to Rs 14,000 crore in this budget. “A few weeks back, the government took credit for increasing maternity leave for women in the organised sector, but it failed to provide funds for the universal maternity benefit of Rs 6,000 meant for women working in the unorganised sector under the National Food Security law,” said Sinha.

Clean India plans
Bezwada Wilson, the national convener of the Safaai Karamchari Andolan, said that a five-year outlay of Rs 4,656 crore in 2013 to rehabilitate manual scavengers was reduced to Rs 10 crores in the current Budget. He said that as per the Socio Economic Caste Census, there are 1.5 lakh manual scavengers who clean dry latrines in India. But the fund outlay of Rs 10 crore would not be adequate to rehabilitate even 70% of them as per existing government provisions.

“When I asked the officials in the Ministry for Social Justice about the reasons for these cuts, they say, the previous years’ funds remained unused,” said Wilson. “Whose responsibility is it to implement the programme and use the funds, I asked them.”
Wilson added: "All the Budget provides for is building more and more toilets under Swachch Bharat, but it lacks any adequate provisions for those cleaning toilets for 5,000 years.”

Health costs
Dr Vandana Prasad, of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, noted that public health programmes would also suffer. Spending for the National Health Mission will rise a little – from Rs.19,135.37 crore in 2015-'16 year to Rs 19,437 for 2016-'17. But this would actually represent a fall in per capita allocation, given the increase in population and price rises.

“The government has focused its health budget on increasing health insurance and for dialysis schemes, both of which will open doors only for private sector profits,” she added.

Ambarish Rai of the Right to Education Forum said the government’s outlay 2016-'17 of Rs. 43, 554 crore is insufficient to make up for the shortfall of 9.4 lakh teachers and shortage of infrastructure in government schools. “The government’s focus is on switching to vocational education,” said Rai. “We met the finance minister in January and pointed out the good performance of Navodaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya to ask for more such schools, but in the budget the finance ministry has provided for only 62 new Navodaya Vidyalaya all over India.”

Flaws in Aadhaar
Social activists associated with these programmes also expressed concern about the provisions of the Aadhaar Bill (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) 2016, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.

The Aadhaar Bill seeks to assign a biometrics-based identity number to the beneficiaries of all public schemes. But Kavita Srivastava, an activist with People’s Union for Civil Liberties and the Right to Food campaign that works on the implementation of the National Food Security law, said that the Bill would not solve the problem of leakages in government programmes.

She said the government has refused to take into consideration the fact that several state governments such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha have reformed programmes such as the ration system, and NREGA, and reduced leakages without relying on Aadhaar.

 “Making Aadhaar mandatory, as the Bill does, will leave out the elderly, disabled and children even more vulnerable because typically they are the ones who are also excluded from the Aadhaar,” she said.

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