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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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

9938 - Subsidised gas - Business Standard

New scheme faces many challenges, raises questions
Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  New Delhi 

May 4, 2016 Last Updated at 21:42 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched an ambitious programme to provide subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections to 50 million poor families. The connections will be allotted in the name of women members of households that are living below the poverty line (BPL). It is a three-year programme - the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana - and would cover 15 million households in the first year, for which a budgetary provision of Rs 2,000 crore has already been made. 

The cost of the entire programme, to be borne by the Union government, will be substantial at Rs 8,000 crore. While launching the scheme at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, Mr Modi criticised former prime ministers for only focusing on the "ballot box" and not framing schemes keeping in mind the interest of the poor. There is little doubt that what Mr Modi has launched will immensely benefit the poor - indoor air pollution caused by unclean cooking fuel used by the poor is estimated to cause 1.3 million premature deaths in the country every year. Use of LPG will reduce pollution and improve the quality of life. But there is no denying that the programme will also give a big boost to his and his party's prospects in the coming elections.

But the problem is that these political gains come at a significant cost to the exchequer. Worse, it also reflects how the scheme may have ignored the need for LPG pricing reforms and well-targeted delivery of subsidies. The first big challenge for the scheme would be to identify the poor households so that the subsidised cooking gas connections could be allotted to the deserving persons only. In the absence of proper and authenticated data on BPL population, the government is relying on the Socio-Economic Caste Census data, but that may not be enough and the scheme may remain poorly targeted or misused. There is also the challenge of sustaining the scheme by strengthening distribution channels and ensuring supply of smaller-sized gas cylinders for the poor. Second, the scheme is not likely to use the Aadhaar-based direct benefits transfer (DBT) system that facilitates transfer of subsidies to the beneficiaries' bank accounts. Thus, the government would be directly compensating oil companies for their losses on account of the subsidised gas connections. This then would suffer from all the attendant problems of leakages and delayed reimbursements, undermining the finances of oil marketing companies. The advantages of an Aadhaar-based DBT scheme that insulates the oil companies against reimbursement delays would be lost.

A more troubling question pertains to the future direction of LPG pricing and reform of subsidies. The government is yet to withdraw subsidies on cooking gas for the economically well-off sections of society, even though it has made known its intention to limit the subsidies only to those earning below an income threshold. Instead, it is relying on cooking gas consumers to give up their subsidies voluntarily. Already 10 million households are said to have given up the subsidy benefit on cooking gas. While subsidy savings through such voluntary actions may help reduce the subsidy bill, this surely cannot be a long-term and sustainable strategy. With international crude oil prices still low, the government should lose no time in fixing a criterion based on both income and assets, so that subsidised LPG supplies to those above that threshold are phased out

  • SC AGGARWAL

    Whether gas is subsidised or not subsidised it is not a problem for the people. The real problem and its solution lies that in every household there should be a LPG connection. After being successful in my own adopted village, now I am trying to see that every household in every village of my home district should have a LPG connection. Now people have started realising in villages not to be dependent upon BPL card or APL card. LPG connection is a must and should be made available to every family.
    May 05, 2016, Thursday