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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Sunday, March 27, 2016

9663 - Editorial: Reorganising babus - Financial Express


Won’t help much unless accompanied by good policy

By: The Financial Express | March 25, 2016 12:08 AM

Given how bureaucratic lethargy kills off even the best plans/schemes, the government has done well to think about reorganising the bureaucracy around its flagship schemes like Make-in-India, Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat, Digital India and Skill India. According to a report in The Economic Times, at least one in five bureaucrats at the Centre will work for the top priority schemes and, if need be, outsiders will be roped in as well. Just the difference a Nandan Nilekani made to the Aadhaar programme—it would probably not have taken off without him—makes it obvious just how important it is to get talented outsiders to work in the government system.

But getting the flagship programmes to work better will require more than mere reorganising of the bureaucracy. In the case of the Jan Dhan Yojana, for instance, though the scheme was launched in January 2013 as a game-changer, the government managed to disburse just R44,000 crore subsidies and entitlements through it in FY15—in FY16, R20,139 crore had been disbursed till October 2015—and the major part of this was LPG subsidies. While the effort in doing this has been commendable, moving to food and other subsidies will require working with the states to ensure the names in their SECC list are seeded with Aadhaar numbers. Getting the states’ cooperation may then require not just better coordination but also building in an incentive for them. And for DBT to really deliver—to help reduce the wastage of thousands of crore of rupees due to excessive procurement and stocking in FCI—the government will need to take policy action and decide that subsidies will be given in the form of cash, not wheat and rice.

Similarly, in the case of Make-in-India, less red-tape is welcome, but a two-year delay of the sort we saw in the case of bringing gas prices to near-market levels has ensured that no investment took place in exploration for two years—prices have been raised now, but with global oil/gas environment nowhere as rosy, even this may not enthuse investors; similarly, no decision has been taken for years on extending the licence of explorers like Cairn for the Barmer fields. Digital India, similarly, suffered a big setback with the government delaying putting more spectrum on the block —this ensured auction bids skyrocketed—and there has still been no action when it comes to lowering annual levies on the telecom sector. The arbitrary price controls on Bt cotton seeds, similarly, frightens investors as does the lack of action on the retrospective taxation, including the demand notices given to Vodafone and Cairn while arbitration is still on. Administrative tightening is very important if India is to grow, but it cannot be a substitute for sensible policy.