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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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

10056 - Karnataka govt to plug PDS leakages with Aadhaar authentication - Economic Times


The move takes forward Karnataka’s efforts to weed out bogus ration cards by using the beneficiary’s Aadhaar number to validate genuine ones.


Sowmya Aji  |  ET Bureau  |  28 May 2016, 7:27 AM IST

A pilot project carried out by Karnataka for biometric authentication of PDS beneficiaries was a grand success though there were some teething problems. 

Taking forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India initiative, the Congress government in Karnataka is trying to fix bugs in the use of Aadhaar to supply food grains through the public distribution system by adopting an old Gujarat model of using food coupons. 

A pilot project using this revised model in Bengaluru, covering the supply of four litres of kerosene a card in mere 50 shops, has shown runaway success: the state has managed to save Rs 12.16 lakh in one month. 

"The feedback has been very good. We are expanding it to other urban areas shortly and then take it to all rural areas," Dinesh Gundu Rao, Karnataka's food and civil supplies minister, told ET. 

The move takes forward Karnataka's efforts to weed out bogus ration cards by using the beneficiary's Aadhaar number to validate genuine ones. About 70% of the 1.08 crore ration card holders in the state have already submitted their Aadhaar numbers and the remaining is expected to be covered by July. 

At least 11 states have already gone in for supply of foodgrains against Aadhaar authentication at the ration shops, in an effort to weed out spurious cards and siphoning from the PDS. However, with the exception of Andhra Pradesh that has shown a saving of Rs 20 crore by using this method in the PDS, biometric authentication at the point of sale (PoS) has become almost a logistical nightmare. 

Karnataka has also set up PoS machines in 3,000 of the state's 20,000 fair-price shops and the experience has left both officials and beneficiaries struggling. Problems include lack of power supply, no battery backup, inadequate Internet connections and difficulties in reading the thumb on several machines. 

"The idea of giving us the rations based only on biometrics is good," says Poosamma, 65, an agarbatti roller at Swatantrapalya, Bengaluru. The problem she faces is a class example of issues with the PoS machine: her fingerprints are worn out due to the job she does. "Often, the PoS machine at our ration shop does not read my finger and it is a constant struggle till it works. This problem needs to be addressed," she says. 

The state's food and civil supplies department says Aadhaar authentication of the beneficiary is the answer, as all 10 fingerprints as well as the iris can be matched. 

By verifying the Aadhaar number against the ration card of the beneficiary, the authentication is done. And instead of doing this verification at the PoS and causing long queues, the beneficiary is given coupons - via SMS or the print ones - to collect rations easily. 

The mobile system is the easiest: the beneficiary sends a message to a number given by the department from the mobile that he or she has registered with Aadhaar. The number automatically works as Aadhaar verification in the F&CS server and a PDS coupon code is sent to the mobile. The beneficiary then shows the mobile code to the fair-price shop and collects his ration. 

For those not mobile-savvy, Aadhaar authentication is done either at the gram panchayat's kiosks in rural areas and civic centres like Bengaluru One in urban. Beneficiaries will be given paper coupons for six months against one authentication, which they will present to the shops. 

"It is an idea whose time has come. It will be a game changer," says the department's secretary, Harsh Gupta. "The Gujarat model using print coupons was very successful. 

We felt we could solve the problem of biometric authentication each time the beneficiary needs to pick up rations by giving them multi-month coupons against one authentication." 

ET visited a very backward part of Bengaluru, where the poorest, who use kerosene for cooking, are getting printed coupons in the pilot phase. They are not able to figure out the mobile method. 

Valliamma Ramamurthy, Rukmini Govindaraj and Shanti Gopal are at the Bengaluru One centre in Srirampuram for the third time this week, as the server was not connecting to the F&CS one each time they came. "I could have spent the money on a meal rather than on autos to reach this place each time," Valliamma says, while Shanti frets about having missed the domestic work she does at various homes to make time to collect coupons. 

They agree they have to be authenticated to get their rations. "We don't want other people to take our rations or siphon off subsidies in our name. Authentication is needed, but we wish the governments and services will get their act together and make supply for us hassle-free," Rukmini says. 

The server works at that moment and she is all smiles, as her coupon has been printed out in a minute. 

"Don't worry," F&CS deputy directors Sharanbasappa and Rajanna assure her. "Next time, we will give you three-month coupons and you will have fewer hassles." 

M Ramamurthy, who runs a cooperative fair-price shop in the same area, also needs convincing. "I am opening an app on my smartphone, scanning the barcode on the coupon the beneficiaries bring, uploading the bill and the coupon on to the server and giving people their kerosene quota. I am all for technology, but it is taking me 10 minutes to serve one person," he rues. 

"We are looking at the problems and how to solve them. These are still less than the errors and the problems the PoS machines have caused," minister Rao contended. 

Karnataka's Centre for e-Governance chief executive Rathan U Kelkar said the process of verifying all the ration card data against Aadhaar would start in a few days. "We are looking at a software that Andhra Pradesh used to authenticate data. They have used voice to pronounce names also, rather than just read it. We will decide on this in a few days and do the verification of the ration card database," he said.