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, May 20, 2016

10005 - Centre asks states to hold two month camps to achieve 100% Aadhaar linked NREGS - Economic Times

By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | 18 May, 2016, 03.12AM IST

This comes even as the passage of the Aadhaar Act as a money bill has been challenged before the SC by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

NEW DELHI: Enthused by the success of direct benefit transfer in paying the beneficiaries of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the Centre has asked states to hold special two month camps to achieve 100% Aadhaar-seeded bank accounts for those employed under the flagship rural job programme. 

The government had last week said that the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme helped it save Rs 3,000 crore or 10% of the total funds allocated for MGNREGS in 2015-16. 

A senior government official told ET that a new "consent form" has been designed by the Centre that the workers employed under MGNREGS workers will be "convinced" to sign and voluntarily seed their Aadhaar number into the bank account where they get wages through DBT. 

A self-attested copy of the Aadhaar letter will have to be attached to the consent form and their details will be authenticated by the Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI). This comes even as the passage of the Aadhaar Act as a money bill has been challenged before the Supreme Court by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. 

At present, 60% of MNREGS accounts are seeded with Aadhaar but only 16% of payments to 10-croreodd MGNREGS workers are done using the Aadhaar Payment Bridge. 

MGNREGS remains India's biggest DBT subsidy programme with nearly Rs 2,400 crore paid every month. 

"It is the PMO's top priority to increase Aadhaar seeding in MGNREGS," an official said. 

The government is of the view that seeding of Aadhaar numbers into all MGNREGS bank accounts could lead to even more savings by weeding out fake beneficiaries and ensuring that only the genuine workers receive the wages. 

The Centre has asked the states to depute gram rozgar sewaks for mobilising MGNREGS workers and ensuring their presence in these special camps, where they will be explained the advantages of seeding their Aadhaar numbers into their bank accounts and sign the new consent forms. 

It has been specified that MGNREGS workers can also submit their Aadhaar consent forms to the 'bank mitra' in their areas. States have also been asked to check with the Chief Post Master General for involving post offices in the exercise as the Department of Posts is in the process of rolling out micro-ATMS at all of its 1.29 lakh rural post offices and has migrated 85% of its accounts to the CBS platform. 

The new consent forms involve the worker authorizing the bank and the government to seed his Aadhaarnumber into his bank account, use his Aadhaar details to authenticate him from UIDAI and enable all DBT credits to come through that account with due SMS alerts sent to his registered mobile number.