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.


Monday, March 7, 2016

9416 - Big push: Bijli, sadak, paani in villages with NREGA and Aadhaar - Indian Express


There are many initiatives in this Budget that indicate a conscious attempt by the government to project a pro-rural tilt and counter barbs of it being, in Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s words, a ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’.

Written by Harish Damodaran | New Delhi | Updated: March 1, 2016 12:20 pm


Jaitley before presenting the Budget, Monday. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

The ruling BJP-led alliance may be aiming to market the 2016-17 Budget as a “budget for Bharat”. This also perhaps ties up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rural outreach efforts through farmer rallies across the country in February, something he hadn’t quite done until recently.

There are many initiatives in this Budget that indicate a conscious attempt by the government to project a pro-rural tilt and counter barbs of it being, in Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s words, a ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’.


To start with, there is focus on irrigation. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has proposed creation of a dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) for implementing 89 major/medium irrigation projects covering a command area of over 8 million hectares. Of these, there are 46 projects that are closer to completion, but require funding of Rs 29,000 crore, which the current annual budget allocation of around Rs 3,000 crore under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme clearly cannot meet.
The LTIF would have an initial corpus of Rs 20,000 crore, towards which Rs 12,517 crore has been provided for in the current year through a mix of budgetary support as well as floating of tax-free bonds/debentures by NABARD that will manage the fund. This upfront provision of financial resources through NABARD is expected to fast-track implementation, with Jaitley claiming that 23 projects would be completed during 2016-17 alone.
UNION BUDGET 2016

Apart from LTIF catering to major/medium projects, the Budget has also increased allocation to the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, which focuses mainly on micro-irrigation and boosting water-use efficiency at farm level, from Rs 5,300 crore to Rs 5,840 crore.
The other big focus in the Budget is rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). This programme was introduced during the tenure of the NDA government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee for providing all-weather road connectivity to all rural habitations with a minimum population of 500 in the plains and 250-plus in hill states, tribal districts and desert areas. Although road construction hit a peak of 60,117 km in 2009-10 under the UPA, PMGSY suffered huge cutbacks towards 2012-13 and 2013-14, with allocations of only Rs 8,885 crore and Rs 9,805 crore respectively and a mere 24,000-25,000 km getting built annually.


The 2016-17 Budget has provided Rs 19,000 crore for PMGSY, which is above the revised estimate of Rs 18,291 crore for this fiscal. “We have managed to revive the programme. This year, we will build 37,000 km of rural roads and our target for 2016-17 is 45,000 km. Since states will also be pitching in their 40 per cent share, the total spending under PMGSY will cross Rs 27,300 crore this year,” a Rural Development Ministry official told The Indian Express.

When it was launched, there were 1.78 lakh habitations meeting the eligibility criteria laid down in PMGSY. Of these, 1.15 lakh habitations already have connectivity. Jaitley said the target for covering the remaining unconnected habitations has been advanced from 2021 to 2019.

The third major pro-rural initiative is the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), for which the Budget has allocated Rs 5,500 crore, more than the Rs 2,954.65-crore under all existing crop insurance schemes in 2015-16. Modi has made PMFBY — which enables farmers to insure their crops at low premiums of 1.5 to 5 per cent, with policy claims covering the full value of produce linked to minimum support prices and average threshold yields — one of the government’s flagship schemes. It was also a major theme of his recent Kisan Swabhiman rallies.
The Budget has also enhanced the provision for interest subsidy on short-term crop credit to farmers to Rs 15,000 crore, from the Rs 13,000 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 6,000 crore the year before.



On the other hand, the Budget has slashed allocations for some of UPA’s agriculture-related schemes. The most prominent among them is the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, which had received Rs 8,443.21 crore of budget support in 2014-15. This year’s revised estimates show the allocation for the programme — seen by many as having incentivised states to step up public investment in agriculture — at a mere Rs 3,897 crore. For 2016-17, too, the budgeted provision is only Rs 5,397 crore.
The budget support for MGNREGA, though, has been increased somewhat to Rs 38,500 crore, from Rs 35,766.75 crore in the revised estimates for 2015-16. Even the latter figure is, in fact, higher than the Rs 33,713 crore that was originally provided. It only points to the political sensitivities attached to the programme, which Modi himself had last year dubbed as a “living monument of your (Congress’s) failure to tackle poverty in 60 years”.
The government has also built on the UPA’s other big idea — Aadhaar, with Jaitley stating in the Budget that within two days it would get statutory backing. Aadhaar, backed by law, will facilitate direct benefit transfer of all subsidies.
To fund the increased allocations to ‘Bharat’, Jaitley’s budget has imposed a Krishi Kalyan cess of 0.5 per cent on all taxable services, proceeds from which “would be exclusively used for financing initiatives relating to improvement of agriculture and welfare of farmers”.
The fact that this has been done, even while urban middle class tax payers have received no relief at all, shows the Modi government’s efforts at image makeover to signal a new distinct pro-rural turn.

- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/business/budget/union-budget-2016-budget-aims-to-kickstart-ailing-rural-economy-without-extra-borrowing/#sthash.Kz7F3067.dpuf

- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/business/budget/union-budget-2016-budget-aims-to-kickstart-ailing-rural-economy-without-extra-borrowing/#sthash.Kz7F3067.dpuf