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.


Search This Blog

Thursday, March 31, 2016

9688 - Direct Benefit Transfer: A new regime cometh - Governance Now


Cash transfer instead of PDS, backed by Aadhaar, may not be good news for all

Pratap Vikram Singh | March 30, 2016

Should the state give food grains and other ration items to the needy people or should the state give them just enough cash to buy these items themselves? That was the ‘cash-vs-PDS’ debate raging for years. It is no longer a matter of debate now. 

A pilot project has been underway in Chandigarh, Puducherry and urban areas of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and depending on its outcomes, the cash option – under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme – is likely to become a reality across the country.

 DBT is already functional for pay various cash benefits. One missing piece in the puzzle – legal backing for the Aadhaar – is also now falling place.

As finance minister Arun Jaitley said in his 2016-17 budget speech, “A social security platform will be developed using Aadhaar to accurately target beneficiaries.” The platform is an advanced version of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) platform. The plan is to create a master database of all Indians, including beneficiaries, through linking Aadhaar, national population register and socio-economic caste census and directly transfer subsidy or benefit in their bank accounts.
However, critics argue that it is only the government which stands to benefit from the cash transfers, as it would help in pruning subsidy (see Jean Dreze’s interview in the following pages) – and it may not be good news for the country’s poor. As inflation fluctuation is a reality, replacing public provisioning of goods and services with cash transfer can further marginalise the poor. There is a fear of “unfair exclusion and unjustified inclusion” in cash transfer system.

In Chandigarh, where subsidised ration has been replaced with cash transfer, Governance Now came across many families who could not buy the same quality and quantity of ration with the money transferred in their bank accounts. There were also beneficiaries under the food security law who are yet to receive any cash subsidy. In Puducherry, many beneficiaries were unaware in which account they have received cash transfer (read ground reports in the subsequent pages).

It will be disastrous if the government chooses to replace public education and health services with cash transfer. The cashless health insurance scheme, Rashtriya Swathya Beema Yojana (RSBY), is one such example where the government nudges citizens to use private services, instead of strengthening public services. Brazil, one of the pioneers in using cash transfer, tripled its public spending as the share of GDP on health and education, while it introduced Bolsa Familia, an antipoverty conditional cash transfer programme, says Jayati Ghosh, a renowned economist. It rather made a precondition for people to ensure better attendance in school and use primary health care to be able to qualify for cash transfer. The Latin American countries didn’t substitute public provisioning of goods and services with cash transfer but rather complemented it, says Ghosh.

In celebrated work ‘Poor Economics’, economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo say, “In Mexico, social welfare payments come with free nutritional supplements for the family.” The authors, based on their study of Asian and African countries, argue that there is need to shift the focus from calorie-based food intake – which could be either ensured by cash transfer or giving ration – to nutrition-based food security programme. They don’t say one is preferable over the other.

Then there are concerns over privacy and data protection. According to the justice AP Shah committee, which submitted its report in 2012, a legal framework on privacy is a prerequisite to creating large biometric, digital identity programmes, including Aadhaar and NATGRID. Countries running cash transfer already have some form of legal framework to deal with the right to privacy violations.

Jaitley sees the Aadhaar bill as “a transformative piece of legislation which will benefit the poor and the vulnerable”. Notwithstanding the controversial manner in which it is being passed, let’s keep our fingers crossed.
 

- See more at: http://www.governancenow.com/news/regular-story/opening-note-a-new-regime-cometh-direct-benefit-transfer#sthash.L9NtUejr.dpuf