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 30, 2016

9681 - The Daily Fix: By allowing Pakistani team access to Pathankot base, Modi has made a brave move


Published 19 hours ago.   Updated 19 hours ago.

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Latest: Top stories of the day

  1. Hyderabad University row: 25 students and two faculty members get bail as classes resume on campus.
  2. An Indian software engineer has been declared dead in the serial bomb attacks in Brussels last Tuesday.
  3. The Aadhaar Act has been notified, paving the way for statutory backing of the unique identity number being used to transfer subsidies and welfare benefits to eligible persons.
  4. The Supreme Court will study the legality of triple talaq.
  5. World Twenty20: South Africa end their campaign with an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in a dead rubber

The Big Story: Bury the hatchet

The Bharatiya Janata Party has spent most of its life targeting Pakistan. This is as a result of its muscular nationalism as well as communitarian politics – Pakistan is often seen as a proxy for “Muslim” in the Indian political space. As recent as 2002, Narendra Modi campaigned in the Assembly elections by attacking “Miyan Musharraf”.

That was then.

This week, the Modi government has invited a Pakistani investigative team to probe the January Pathankot attack, where militants suspected to have belonged to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed stormed the airbase, killing seven security personnel. The fact that this team includes an officer from the Inter Services Intelligence – Pakistan’s dreaded intelligence organisation accused of fomenting terror in India – points to just how big of a leap this is in Indo-Pak relations.

Naturally, this has caused a backlash politically in India. Opposition parties slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party government for allowing Pakistani’s access to a sensitive Indian airbase. This has caused some jitters in the government, as various bodies now try and pass what is a hot potato. 

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday that his ministry wasn’t in-charge of permissions, the National Investigation Agency. But, most importantly, the government hasn’t given in to the pressure to called off the joint probe.
Whether involving Pakistan in a terror probe will be effective in any way remains to be seen. But the optics of a probe team being allowed in an Indian airbase produces a powerful message for peace in South Asia.

This isn’t the first time Narendra Modi has thought imaginatively about Pakistan. On December 25, Narendra Modi made an announced visit to the house of Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan. The sight of the two leaders hugging on the airport tarmac was powerful. Actual results in the Indo-Pak diplomatic game are tough. But with strong symbolism of this kind, Narendra Modi seems to be building a strong constituency for peace in India.

The Big Scroll

“Only Nixon could go to China”: The one phrase that explains how a right-wing hawk like Modi could actually allow Pakistan far more concessions than centrist parties like the Congress.

Politicking & Policying
1. The Left-Congress alliance in Bengal is actually putting up a pretty good fight, if this opinion poll is to be believed.
2. Now Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh head, Mohan Bhagwat says, “Don’t force anyone to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai.'"
3. Kolkata: Two cops suspended for trying to bribe BJP leader Rahul Sinha in “cow smuggling” case.
Punditry
1. Ashok Desia writes in the Telegraph about how Raghuram Rajan, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is trying to knock some sense into Delhi power elite.
2. President’s rule in Uttarakhand raises fears of federal over-reach and misuse of Article 356, says this edit in the Times of India.
3. Aadhaar legislation points to the need for a comprehensive privacy law, writes Apar Gupta in the Indian Express.
Don’t Miss
Aarefa Johri explains how health insurance policies and hospital malpractices take patients for a ride.
“One of the major problems with the insurance sector, and health insurance in particular, is the mis-selling of policies – people buy policies with genuine expectations but often there are mismatches,” said Dasgupta, who took up the ombudsman’s chair after retiring as the managing director of Life Insurance Corporation of India.
Insurance, as a “subject matter of solicitation”, is meant to be bought only after careful understanding of every aspect of the policy on offer. The onus of this lies with the customer, but often they are at the mercy of insurance agents who misguide them, either fraudulently or unwittingly.
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