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.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

9814 - Virtual network operators, Aadhaar will create robust digital platform: Ravi Shankar Prasad - Financial Express

Even as the country’s top mobile operators are busy rolling out their 4G services to offer high-speed data to the consumers, communications & IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is working on alternate models to enhance digital delivery.

By: Rishi Raj | New Delhi | April 11, 2016 6:22 AM
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VNOs are not licensed telecom operators. They are players who are interested in consumer-facing businesses and have marketing abilities. (PTI)

Even as the country’s top mobile operators are busy rolling out their 4G services to offer high-speed data to the consumers, communications & IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is working on alternate models to enhance digital delivery.
In an interview with FE, Prasad said that with the recent approval by the telecom commission to allow virtual network operators (VNOs) in the country and Aadhaar accounts touching 100 crore, his five platforms for Digital India have taken shape which will be taken forward.
“The guidelines for VNOs will be unveiled shortly. I am going to take a flexible approach while making the guideline so that one VNO can tie-up with multiple network service operators. Also, if any network operator wants that only a part of a circle, say a district or a cluster of districts, is handed over to a VNO that will be allowed. We will explore newer models,” Prasad said.
VNOs are not licensed telecom operators. They are players who are interested in consumer-facing businesses and have marketing abilities. They buy bandwidth and airtime from licensed operators and retail them to consumers.
Though, India has allowed such players to provide services quite late, Prasad said that the way he’s devised his digital agenda they will be quite relevant and help in rural marketing. “Also they will enable weaker operators with spectrum, and here I include BSNL and MTNL, to utilise their infrastructure effectively,” Prasad said. “A weak operator can now have a choice between spectrum sharing, trading and VNOs to effectively utilise its infrastructure,” he added.
“I have provided Internet Service Providers’ licence to all common service centres (CSCs). All village post offices will also be turned into CSCs and in turn ISPs. These will be allowed to become VNOs. This combined infrastructure will create an alternate model of digital delivery. All this, infrastructure will give a leg up to rural marketing,” he said.
The five pillars of Prasad’s Digital delivery platform will thus be: a network of postal offices (125,000) with core banking facilities; a optic fibre network; CSCs (currently 83,000 to go up to 157,000); rural BPOs where government will provide a subsidy of R1 lakh per seat; and VNOs. The platform thus created by the synergy of these five will be facilitated by Aadhar.
“The platform thus created will be free to explore entrepreneurial ways to maximise their earnings and reach. They will be free to strike alliances with private parties. Am sure, e-commerce firms, broadband firms will tap into them to maximise their reach in rural areas. They will also provide employment,” Prasad said.
Pointing towards the huge potential this platform will have in the form of digital delivery, literacy and employment, Prasad said, “Just see the scope, for payment bank all major insurance firms (barring LIC) and private banks (domestic as well as foreign) have shown interest in partnering with India Post.”