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.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

9878 - Indian law links 1bn-strong ID database to benefits claims - Global Govt Forum


Indian law links 1bn-strong ID database to benefits claims

By Alexandra Katz on 22/04/2016

India took a step closer to the introduction of a universal personal identification number last month, when its lower house of parliament – Lok Sabha – passed the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill 2016.

This Bill suggests using the ‘Aadhaar number’ – an identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) – to manage the delivery of state subsidies directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

The Opposition had introduced amendments to the Bill in the upper house – Rajya Sabha – to address concerns around privacy, data security, and the use of personal information collected by various agencies as part of the Aadhaar number generation process. However, after six years of debate and discussion, the government chose to pass the legislation as a Money Bill – meaning that the Lok Sabha could ignore these amendments.
According to government officials, Aadhar will be used in various schemes including cooking gas subsidy, the public distribution system (PDS), and subsidies for kerosene and fertilizers.
While Aadhar is yet not compulsory for securing access to these schemes, the Bill specifies that the government may require an individual to obtain an Aadhaar number to verify his identity before receiving government benefits.
This provision may help the Indian government to save millions of rupees spent on welfare payments, as it will help to prevent ‘leakage’ from public funds: under the current system, some funds trickle away as money is passed through multiple agencies on its long journey to the recipients.
The government also argues that the Aadhaar Bill will help to tackle financial exclusion, enabling people at the bottom of the income pyramid to access financial services.
“With Aadhaar Bill passed, it becomes much easier to identify someone. It is a step forward in terms of how it enables us to check credit history, to bring down frictions, bring down costs, set up micro accounts because the cost of authentication becomes less,” Jayant Sinha, the Indian Government’s minister of state for finance, said recently at a banking conference in Mumbai. He added that a host of new financial products could be made available to many people who have been excluded from the financial system.
The Aadhaar number is often compared with the Social Security Number system used in the United States. It has been a highly controversial issue in India since 2009, when the national identification number project was rolled out. Some lawyers and social activists argue that the Aadhaar project is plagued by problems around privacy and security.
Given India’s 1.3bn population, Aadhar is believed to be not only the world’s largest unique identification project, but also the world’s largest database of demographic and biometric information. Participants must provide their photograph, finger print and iris scan in addition to their name, date of birth and address in order to obtain an Aadhar number. Earlier in April, India’s biometric database passed the 1bn members mark.

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