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.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

9658 - City RTI activist wins DoB in Aadhaar card battle - TNN


Vijay Pinjarkar | Mar 24, 2016, 03.53 AM IST

Nagpur: City-based RTI activist has won over a three-year battle against Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) authorities for inclusion of date of birth in Aadhaar cards.
Aadhaar card is considered as the most valid address and identity proof for official works but initially UIDAI authorities failed to incorporate date of birth in these cards making it unacceptable to respective authorities.

City-based RTI activist Avinash Prabhune pointed out this flaw to UIDAI authorities in November 2012 by writing to Nandan Nilekani, chairman of UIDAI. But when he did not receive any reply, Prabhune filed an RTI application in January 2013.
By the time Prabhune was engaged in the RTI battle, over 20 crore Aadhaar cards were already issued by spending Rs2,000 crore. UIDAI did not even bother to reply to Prabhune, who pursued the matter for more than three years with the Central Information Commission (CIC), Delhi, which finally upheld his contention.

In its recent order, the CIC directed UIDAI authorities to pay compensation of Rs1,000 to Prabhune for mental harassment.
The CIC drew attention of UIDAI director general ABP Pandey towards this aspect so that a system is put in place to ensure that such lapses in responding to RTI applications, filed to the public authority, do not take place in future.

"This is a case involving a citizen, who made a suggestion out of good intention to the public authority in the interest of Aadhaar card holders in general and not because he had a personal grievance," the CIC said.

The CIC further added that applicant had to struggle to get a response out of the public authority regarding what view had been taken on his suggestion.

"When Prabhune filed RTI application, the action on part of the public authority was far from what is required under the RTI Act. The appellant had to make considerable effort and had to undergo mental harassment to get response from the public authority and it is difficult to quantify the detriment in monetary terms," the order states.

The CIC stated that Prabhune's case merits award of a token compensation of Rs1,000. He received cheque a few days ago.
"Though UIDAI started incorporating date of birth (DoB) in Aadhaar cards from September 2013 after the RTI plea, my battle continued against adopting a general system to incorporate DoB in the cards issued earlier," says Prabhune.
He adds government should take corrective measures for rectification of earlier shortcomings while giving statutory status to Aadhaar so that citizens can use these card in physical and electronic transactions.

The latest order issued by information commissioner with CIC makes it clear that system of maintaining records in the public authority, particularly practice of communicating on official matters through personal e-mail IDs, was highly unsatisfactory.
"We can only hope that public authority has now put in place a proper system of maintenance of records, including official communications exchanged by e-mail," it states.