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.

Friday, April 1, 2016

9705 - All Central government schemes on track to be linked to DBT - Economic Times

By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | Mar 31, 2016, 04.58 AM IST

All central government schemes involving transfer of benefits in cash or kind are expected to transition to DBT platform from April.

NEW DELHI: Given a massive push by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and three high-level review meetings held in the last as many months, all central government schemes involving transfer of benefits in cash or kind are expected to transition to Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) platform from April. All central government payments will soon be on the electronic platform. 

Ministries are all geared up after directions were issued last month for the transition of all central schemes to the DBT platform to be achieved by April 1, a government official told ET. Many ministries have already identified such schemes (see box) and fast-tracked their transition since. 

The scope of DBT now stands enlarged to cover all central sector (CS) schemes and centrally-sponsored cchemes (CSS) across all ministries and departments, he said.

Through this platform, the Centre will be able to monitor funds flow and track beneficiaries. It also aims to seed all DBT accounts and 20 crore PM Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) accounts with Aadhaar. 

All departments with details of bank accounts and Aadhaar of beneficiaries of their schemes have been asked to give it to department of financial services for banks to do the seeding rather than wait for a beneficiary to visit the bank branch for it. Cabinet secretary PK Sinha will soon hold a meeting to review the status of all central schemes transitioning to DBT and seeding of 100% DBT accounts with Aadhaar. 

DBT is currently used for 56 schemes in which roughly Rs 6000 cr is transferred every month to about 30 crore beneficiaries. Ministries were told earlier this year that the concept of DBT is being refined to include not only schemes that involve transfer of benefits in cash but also in kind. 

It was also specified at a February 4 meeting chaired by secretary (coordination), cabinet secretariat, that as DBT solves the problem of any undisbursed funds being kept parked with states or agencies, fund transfer to "any institution, agency or NGO has to be on the DBT platform". 

Ministries were told to examine all their schemes and ensure their transition to DBT by April 1. DBT has been accorded the 'highest priority' with Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewing its progress at PRAGATI meetings every month. 

The other priority for the Modi government, after Aadhaar getting statutory backing, is to soon ensure 100% seeding of DBT beneficiaries with Aadhaar - which stands at 60%. The seeding in PMJDY was only 42%, 58% in MGNREGS and only 27% in National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) in January. 

A panel of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary has suggested that instead of waiting for beneficiaries to visit a bank branch to give consent for seeding their accounts with Aadhaar, and if the consent of the beneficiaries for use of Aadhaar has already been obtained, any further consent may not be insisted upon and data provided by government agencies to the bank be used to seed PMJDY accounts. There is also a suggestion to convert all existing MGNREGS and NSAP bank accounts into PMJDY accounts.