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.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

9743 - Aadhaar to cross 100 crore mark, may help redesign government schemes - Economic Times

By Surabhi Agarwal, ET Bureau | 4 Apr, 2016, 11.23AM IST


After the Parliament passed a legislation giving sanctity to government's unique identity project, Aadhaar is set to cross another major milestone of touching the 100 crore mark by Monday.


NEW DELHI: After the Parliament passed a legislation giving sanctity to the government's ambitious and much-controversial unique identity project, Aadhaar is set to cross another major milestone of touching the 100 crore mark by Monday. 

In an interview, director general of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), AB Pandey told ET that with the Act in place, the government will not only be able to streamline existing subsidies but can also come up with new schemes and sub-schemes that are more targeted, as Aadhaar allows for new ways of beneficiary verification and identification, which were not possible earlier. 

The Authority will soon get a chairperson, a position that has been vacant since Nandan Nilekani, founder chairman of UIDAI, left office in 2014 to contest elections. 

"A chairperson will be appointed within the next 4-5 days," said Pandey without divulging details about who is being considered for the position. The Aadhaar Bill, which was passed in the Parliament as a Money Bill in March, mandates the appointment of a chairman of the authority. 

In an earlier ruling, the Supreme Court had restricted the use of Aadhaar to just a handful of government schemes, but after the bill has been passed, the government is now in the process of restarting linkage with schemes that were halted earlier. Work is also on to identify existing schemes of the government that can be linked to Aadhaar and brought on the Direct Benefits Transfer platform. 

Pandey said that while work is ongoing on this front, in the future, the linkage with Aadhaar could give birth to various new kinds o schemes. He added that using the UID number, the government could carry out authentication in new ways for beneficiaries, and customise and modify schemes accordingly, so that "benefits reach directly to the people." 

He gave an example of the new mandate by the government to withdraw cooking gas subsidy for those earning over Rs 10 lakh annually . "This is a new form of the LPG subsidy, which has been made possible because of Aadhaar," he said. 

Pandey also added that linking of all welfare payments with Aadhaar will give the government a new kind of data and enable it to design schemes for different target audiences within the same scheme. For instance, the government may decide to increase old age pension for a particular person who doesn't have a family after looking at his PDS data, which is also linked to the Aadhaar platform. 

"Several new possibilities, which we have not even thought of right now, will emerge," said Pandey. 

ET had reported earlier that all Central government schemes in volving transfer of benefits in cash or kind are expected to transition to the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) platform from April. All Central government payments will soon be on the electronic platform. 

Ministries are geared up after directions were issued last month for the transition of all Central schemes to the DBT platform, which was to be achieved by April 1. Many ministries have already identified such schemes and fasttracked their transition since. 


The scope of DBT now stands enlarged to cover all central sector schemes and centrally-sponsored schemes across all ministries and departments.