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.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

9615 - India poised to become technology leader, say industry experts - Live Mint

Sat, Mar 19 2016. 01 31 AM IST


Digitalization potential, improving broadband connectivity, mobile penetration steps in right direction, say analysts


New Delhi: India has all the ingredients to become a global technology leader, according to technology industry veterans.
At the EmTech India event organized by MIT Technology Review and Mint, the buzz was all about India’s potential in digitalization on the back of massive mobile penetration, ongoing programmes to improve broadband connectivity and Aadhaar. Industry leaders remained bullish about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programmes—Digital India, Start-up India and Make in India.

India is moving towards its goal of becoming a digitally connected country, said R.S. Sharma, chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

“It is evident from the fact that the country now has more than a billion mobiles and data (consumption) is growing at 65% annually. This shows there is a massive interest in accessing services such as e-commerce and e-learning,” he said.
The government’s ongoing initiative Bharat Net’s aim is to connect India’s 250,000 panchayats at an estimated cost of $18 billion. Meanwhile, the government is looking at alternative approaches to connect India, including cable TV pipes and White Spaces (refers to the unused TV channels between the active ones). Another powerful soft digital infrastructure is Aadhaar, Sharma said, adding the government has started creating products based on Aadhaar like e-sign, which lets users digitally sign documents and digital lockers, which lets users store and save documents on cloud.

“With RBI issuing licences for payments banks, people can go to neighbourhood stores to take out money,” said Sharma, adding mobile payment is gaining traction in India rapidly.

“India has all the basic building blocks of Digital India ready,” he said. “What is required, however, is for all the ecosystem partners to work together to ensure this vision is realized. All the technology pieces which are available, there is innovation waiting to happen on the top of this stack.”

“Somehow, we have a mindset that we always have to follow the West. We should rely on technology we have built on. While we did not have a head-start, we do have an advantage going forward and, thus, we can leapfrog. For instance, we have gone from no connectivity to full connectivity. We had around 2 crore wireline connections in the past and now we have 100 crore mobile phones; so, it is possible to leapfrog and we must leapfrog.”

The government launched Digital India after coming to power in 2014 to ensure government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity. The initiative includes plans to connect rural India with high-speed Internet networks.
The Startup India campaign was launched in August to promote bank financing and create a favourable business environment for start-up ventures. Make in India is the flagship programme of the Modi government. It was launched on 25 September 2014. It aims to encourage Indian and multinational companies to manufacture their products in India.

“If you want to do a start-up, this is the right time; the infection point has a just happened,” said John Chambers, executive chairman of Cisco Systems Inc. Even as India still has a long way to go when compared with the US in the 1990s, Chambers said India is going to see a generation of start-ups coming up who will set examples for the world.

Kumud M. Srinivasan, president of Intel India, echoed the sentiments. India’s dream of becoming a start-up nation is facing challenges such as illiteracy, malnutrition, poor infrastructure and low-yielding crops, he said. “Our government is trying to get over this through efforts like Digital India, Start Up India and Make in India. In Make in India, we talk about competing with China with low-value, high-volume manufacturing. But we have to look at high-value manufacturing to improve the situation. Once we get there, the rest of the development will follow,” she added.

According to Kunal Shah, founder and CEO of Freecharge, the biggest challenge for start-ups is investment support. “I don’t know whether the government should be participating in it. But that is the need of the hour,” he added.

Responding to this, Raghav Narsalay, managing director, Accenture Institute for High Performance, said, “In initial stages, incentives do make a difference. But it is only for a certain point of time. Finally, it is the entrepreneurial zeal that matters.”