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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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

9603 - Finance over economics - Hindu Business Line

Finance over economics - Hindu Business Line

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/letters/finance-over-economics/article8366377.ece

This refers “Finance gets the better of economics” by Sunanda Sen (March 17). In a growing economy, the economy and finance are closely related and decisions on one would reflect on the other. While the economy should be built on strong basics and flexible in absorbing changes in the management of finance, changes in economy should be crafted with care. The changes in finance would reflect quickly in markets and thus in commodity prices and in the life of people. But any change in economic factors will take time to respond to the day to day life.
Thoughtful consideration should go in framing economic policies because the impact could be negative on the financial side. The changes in the fiscal deficit, foreign exchange, inflationary trends and markets are related to monetary policies which would impact day to day life of the common man due to variation in commodity prices and shortfall in domestic savings. It is, therefore, necessary that changes in economic policies are framed with an eye on the impact on financial status also
TR Anandan
Coimbatore
The author is wrong when she says fiscal consolidation will squeeze the poor. Inflation will hurt the poor more and it is a form of tax which will be held in check if fiscal consolidation is continued. If the inflation is contained, the RBI will have more room to cut rates, which will have an expansionary effect on the economy. We need to have an environment with contained inflation and interest rates for growth to return.
Providing a job is the best possible welfare you can give to any individual and the government by adhering to the path of fiscal consolidation has done the right thing for our macro economic environment.
CR Arun
Email

Aadhaar concerns
With the hasty passage of the controversial Aadhaar Bill, it looks like the Aadhaar card is here to stay. The designation of the Bill as a Money Bill was a mere ruse to avoid ‘legislative scrutiny’ by the Rajya Sabha.
Now that it has become a fait accompli without the amendments proposed by the Opposition, there is no hope of escape from certain retrograde provisions of the law unless they are eventually struck down by the Supreme court for violating the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to privacy. Initially, it was said that the enrolment was ‘voluntary’ and ‘optional’. The apex court has also ruled as such. But Aadhaar is now made mandatory for ‘receipt of subsidies, benefits and services’. A ‘nationalist’ government incapable of drawing the line between ‘national security’ and ‘social control’ could rely on the Aadhaar law for the suppression of dissent purely in the furtherance of its own political interest.
The BJP hails the Aadhaar as a ‘game-changer’. But how it is going to change the game remains to be seen.
G David Milton
Maruthancode, TN


Insurance hurdles
The government insurance arm, LIC, whose objective is to cover and address the financial needs of common man, has lot of riders built in its policies. For instance, in the money-back policy the policy holder is given a percentage of its premium every three years, whereas in the case of other policies, the policy holder has to apply for a loan to get some money and has to repay the loan resulting in high payouts. All insurance companies should make both the options, money back and loan, available in all policies to yield benefits for lower and middle class.
Vikram Sundaramurthy
Chennai

King of cunning
It seems banks are having tough time with a scheming man like Vijay Mallya. He might have failed in his business ventures but seems to be excelling in the art of dodging his lenders and poor Kingfisher Airlines staff.
It is really amazing to see the limitations of our law and enforcement agencies in tackling and bringing to book people like Mallya who have gulped some ₹9,000 crore of public money, and yet evade arrest.
VS Ganeshan
Bengaluru

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.
(This article was published on March 17, 2016)
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