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.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

9563 - Date of birth missing from 20 cr UPA-era Aadhaar cards - Sunday Guardian


UIDAI does not intend to reprint these cards.

Though one’s date of birth is a vital and permanent information, as many as 20 crore Aadhaar cards made and distributed during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime, did not have this basic information, though there was mention of address, something that can keep changing during one’s lifetime.
Until now, over 98 crore Aadhaar cards have been generated across the country and the Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Aadhaar Bill to give legal teeth to the government in ensuring that its subsidies and services reach the intended beneficiaries directly, thereby going beyond the scheme’s current mandate of merely assigning  a unique identity to residents. 

After noticing the absence of the date of birth on the UPA-era Aadhaar cards, Avinash Prabhune, a social activist, sent a letter to then UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) chairman Nandan Nilekani in November 2012 to add the “date of birth” (DoB) so that the cards help individuals in many ways and one does not need to carry any other additional document for physical transactions with service providers.
“My three reminders remained unanswered. So I filed an RTI application for action against my communication. In March 2013, UIDAI informed me that my request for adding the DoB on Aadhaar cards had been considered and henceforth, the DoB would be added on all Aadhaar cards. I was informed that around 20 crore cards had been issued and about Rs 2,000 crore was spent till that time,” he told The Sunday Guardian.
Subsequently, due to his intervention, Aadhaar cards issued after September 2013 contain the date of birth. However, Prabhune again wrote to Nilekani, requesting him to reissue Aadhaar cards to those who have been already issued the cards by just reprinting them. 
“I again filed an RTI to know the status and action taken against this letter. But there was no response and so I kept on following it up. In May 2015, the UIDAI reprinted and reissued my Aadhaar card. Regarding the issue of reprinting and reissuing cards to others, I again filed an RTI and I was informed that the UIDAI has not adopted a general system to incorporate the date of birth in old cards for others,” Prabhune said.

“This (not having the date of birth) was a major shortcoming and UIDAI officials are hiding the truth as to why this happened. I have requested the present government to take adequate and corrective measures for the earlier shortcomings while giving statutory status to Aadhaar so that citizens can use Aadhaar cards in physical and electronic transactions,” he said.