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.


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Monday, April 4, 2016

9730 - Why Aadhaar is not Sudhar: Study Questions Savings in LPG Scheme - The Quint



Akanksha Kumar
Today, 7 hours ago

Canada-based think tank IISD (International Institute for Sustainable Development) has come up with a research paper that refutes government’s claims on savings in the Aadhar-linked LPG subsidy scheme. Authored by Kieran Clarke, the paper dated March 16 questions the implementation of the subsidy scheme as their estimates suggest that savings from the new scheme (which came into force across India since January 1, 2015) cannot be more than Rs 12-14 cr for the FY 2014-15.

The research paper notes:

Putting aside the relative merits of Aadhaar as a public policy tool, our calculations indicate that, instead of resulting in significant savings, the net fiscal impact of integrating Aadhaar into DBTL in the current financial year was likely to be minimal, and that expectations of substantial net savings in subsidy expenditure from the introduction of the Aadhaar scheme may be misplaced.

Research paper titled, “Ghost Savings: Understanding the fiscal impact of India’s direct transfer program”

The government has so far been claiming in its various statements as well as press releases from the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas that savings from the Aadhar-linked gas scheme has been to the tune of Rs 14, 672 crore for FY 2014-15. KM Mahesh, a deputy secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas stands by the figures quoted by the government. “The basis on which we have worked out savings of the PAHAL scheme are the 3.34 crore accounts that we were able to block and then arrived at savings”, said Mr Mahesh in a telephonic conversation with The Quint.”

In a press release dated October 12, 2015 the ministry claims of weeding out 3.34 fake accounts and has pegged the savings at Rs 14, 672 cr (assuming 12 cylinders being given at a subsidy of Rs 336).

(Infographic: Rahul Gupta/ The Quint)

What Explains the Difference?
The huge difference between the government estimates and research done by this international think tank lies in assuming the number of ghost beneficiaries weeded out as a result of Aadhar-based biometrics. As an editorial in the Financial Express explains the difference – if out of 100 beneficiaries eligible for a subsidy of Rs 100 each, only 75 are identified as genuine beneficiaries. It means that 25 were fake beneficiaries taking undue advantage of govt-run scheme. Now if out of remaining 75, only 70 actually turn up to claim for the subsidy on the basis of Aadhar card, we have a total of 30 ghost beneficiaries. Now follows the tedious part, a divergence in the calculation of savings:
a) Government’s method of calculating savings:
30 * 100 = Rs 3000
b) IISD’s method of calculating savings”
5*100 = Rs 500
(Why take into account 5 who didn’t turn up? Because they are the consumers who were availing undue benefits by listing themselves for the subsidy schemes).
The research paper by the international think tank lists two figures: Rs 143 crore as the reduction in subsidy expenditure and Rs 14 crore as the gross savings for the FY 2014-15.

(Infographic: Rahul Gupta/ The Quint)

Author of the paper, Kieran Clarke refused to comment on the findings of the paper, he however did offer a clarification on the two figures quoted in the research note.

Rs 143.2 crore is the total theoretically estimated subsidy savings from implementing DBTL (Aadhaar and non-Aadhaar). This is based on the chief economic advisor’s own estimates using a consumption based methodology. It does not include the costs of implementation. In comparison, the figure of 12 to 14 crore is representing the estimated saving only through Aadhaar based de-duplication, as laid out in the most recent note we published. Hence it is a small fragment of the total savings.  

 Kieran Clarke, Researcher, International Institute for Sustainable Development in an email reponse

(Infographic: Rahul Gupta/ The Quint)

As the debate on Aadhar rages on with questions being raised on the breach of privacy, it is worth doing a reality check as to what extent the program has been helpful in making sure that benefits reach the intended beneficiaries.

Experts including the Dhande committee report in 2014 have lauded the Aadhar-linked LPG subsidy scheme in helping to identify duplicate consumers, the fear however is about their re-appearance in the system all over again as well as evaluating the real cost of implementation of the scheme.