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


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


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.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

9689 - Rajasthan IT not as smart as Raje makes it out to be? - TNN

Rosamma Thomas | TNN | Mar 29, 2016, 11.01 PM IST

JAIPUR: Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, speaking at the state's first IT Day earlier this month, said, "In Rajasthan, IT tools are changing lives every day -- from the point-of-sales machines at ration shops to the delivery of pension."

The point-of-sale machines were introduced as part of the Public Distribution System to stem leakage and ensure greater efficiency. In reality, however, they appear to have become a pain. Those waiting in line for rations sometimes have to wait hours, as the machines go kaput in the absence of internet connectivity.

"The POS machine seeks a fingerprint match - with many ration-seekers being manual labourers, their fingerprints are not steady. The machine makes no allowance for that. The poor labourer might be told to return and bring someone else from the family. The whole process can take a long time, eating into the earnings of daily-wagers," says Mukesh Goswami, who travelled through the state as part of the Jawabdehi Yatra that crisscrossed all 33 districts of the state in 100 days, mobilizing public opinion for a law that will hold all government servants to account for their work.

Shishir Purohit, a researcher who also participated in the yatra, is at present compiling feedback from the people about the provision of government services. "Over 9,000 complaints were recorded during our yatra. At least 30% had to do with not receiving rations," he said, adding that often the people standing in line did not even know what took so long.

The POS machines depend on internet connectivity. As part of the process, it is mandatory that Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries be fed into the system. Sometimes, the machine fails to identify the Aadhaar number.

A local daily reported soon after the machines were installed early this year that they were riven with problems. In Kothun village of Jaipur district, only about 20 people could receive rations in a day, after waiting for hours in queues. Seventy-five of 78 shops in the village had the machines, but instead of making things easier, they were in fact making rations that much harder to access.

Recently, fair price shop dealers in Jodhpur decided to return the machines. "In Ajmer, the POS machines had been made compulsory. Manual entries were no longer permitted. It was unbelievable, the anger," says activist Nikhil Dey, who too toured the state during the yatra.

Addressing a press conference at the conclusion of the Jawabdehi Yatra, Dey explained that the Rajasthan Sampark website was often misleading when it claimed that a grievance had been redressed. In one instance, the website showed that a man who complained of no water supply had been provided water. However, all the official concerned did was point him out to a source of water over one km from his house!

Purohit talked of a man seeking compensation after being diagnosed with silicosis. He was told he would get no compensation - only free treatment. This happened as the complaint was directed to the chief medical officer rather than the collector of the district. Anyone certified as a patient of silicosis is given compensation of Rs1 lakh by the state government.

Activists said the Sampark website also does not make provision for feedback from the public. "Once the official has made an entry saying the complaint has been redressed, the person who made the complaint cannot explain that the matter has not yet been resolved," says Goswami.