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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Friday, March 18, 2016

9542 - Privacy law tightened in new Aadhaar Bill: Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha - Hindustan Times


  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New DelhiUpdated: Mar 16, 2016 15:43 IST
Finance minister Arun Jaitley speaks in Parliament. Jaitley says the UPA’s bill on Aadhaar stands altered. (PTI)

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that the Aadhaar Bill passed by the Lok Sabha last week has laid down strict measures to protect the privacy of citizens.

Social activists have criticised the Centre, saying the proposed legislation may be misused for “mass surveillance”.
Around 980 million citizens have been enrolled for the 12-digit biometric unique identification number called Aadhaar, a scheme conceived in 2009. By the end of 2016, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) aims to enrol all eligible 1.1 billion residents.

“The previous UPA government had also brought a legislation on Aadhaar. In that bill, the purpose of the personal data and biometrics information collected through the exercise was not defined,” Jaitley said while introducing the bill in the Rajya Sabha.
“Compared to the UPA bill, the proposed law lays down a very strict procedure, the privacy law is much more tightened,” he said.


The Aadhaar programme relies on biometrics, considered the best way to establish a unique identity. It uses the combination of fingerprints and retina scans, and accounts for situations where a resident may not have hands or eyes.

The new bill places restrictions on when and how the UIDAI can share data and notes that the biometric information - fingerprint and iris scans - will not be shared with anyone.

But the legislation gives the government sweeping powers to access the data for “efficient, transparent and targeted delivery of subsidies, benefits and services”, raising suspicions that the database could be used for surveillance.


The Aadhaar scheme is expected to help the government deliver benefits of major central schemes to the people, and the Centre says it save thousands of crores rupees.

“Both central and state governments give several subsidies to people. There are monetary assistances, cost rebates, subsidies etc. given which run into lakhs of crores of rupees. Now, these subsidies have to be quantified amounts given to identifiable sections,” Jaitley said.

“If subsidies are given as unquantified amounts to unidentified sections, then non-merit people will get subsidies and merit people will not get it... So, for people to get the benefit of subsidies, the production of UID or other alternative document has to be the pre-condition.”

Jaitley said the UPA’s bill was for the mere creation of a UID authority and that it was not a money bill, even though the Opposition has objected to the government’s move of converting the Aadhaar Bill into a money bill.

The Rajya Sabha, where the government does not have the numbers, has no role in passing a money bill. Once passed by the Lok Sabha, it becomes a law even if the Upper House does not return it within 14 days.

Although the Upper House can’t amend a money bill, it can recommend amendments, which can be accepted or rejected by the Lok Sabha.

In case amendments are recommended, the bill will remain pending unless the process is completed in the Lok Sabha.