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.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

10080 - Efforts to link bank accounts with Aadhaar gather steam - Live Mint

Last Modified: Wed, Jun 01 2016. 04 31 AM IST


The government’s efforts are primarily geared towards fixing leaks in the direct benefit transfer schemes and ensure people got the funds in a secure manner

Viswanath Nair

Mumbai: Efforts to link bank accounts to Aadhaar, which had slowed after an adverse Supreme Court order and a central bank notification, have picked up again, with banks starting email and text message campaigns targeting their urban customers, four bankers in the know said.

“While there is no explicit direction from the government on seeding Aadhaar numbers to bank accounts, they do keep inquiring every time there is a Jan Dhan meeting about the progress on it,” said the managing director and chief executive officer of a public sector bank, the first of the four bankers mentioned above, on condition of anonymity, as the meeting with government officials is confidential. The effort was initially targeted at those holding Jan Dhan accounts and later expanded to all urban customers.

As of 25 May, 219 million bank accounts were opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana, of which over 100 million were linked to Aadhaar. In comparison, there were 158 million accounts a year ago, of which 61 million accounts were Aadhaar-linked.

“There are a number of urban customers who still depend on government subsidies, such as those received for LPG (liquified petroleum gas). Aadhaar linkage is very easy for them as the government can send a payment directly to their bank accounts. 

A lot of our mobile campaigns have been focussed on them. For other customers, we can reduce the amount of paperwork required to maintain a bank account, by using a unique identification number,” said the retail chief at a large private sector bank, also speaking on condition of anonymity, as he isn’t allowed to speak to the press.

This banker added that the attempt is to encourage customers to use Aadhaar as a primary know-your-customer document, without making it mandatory.

While banks have been pushing for Aadhaar seeding with bank accounts for two years, the pace slackened after Supreme Court orders in August and October 2015. The order in October said that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for any government benefits and can be voluntarily used to gain benefits of the MGNREGA, government pension scheme, Jan Dhan Yojana and the employment provident fund.

The apex court’s main reservation against making Aadhaar mandatory was the privacy concerns around it. Following this, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in January notified that the seeding of bank accounts with Aadhaar is purely voluntary and can’t be insisted upon by banks.

The notification marked a reversal of the regulator’s previous stance of getting banks to sign up a large number of customers on the Aadhaar network. In July 2013, RBI asked banks to take steps to complete account opening and seeding Aadhaar numbers in all districts eligible for direct benefit transfers. With a view to facilitating DBT for delivery of social welfare benefits through direct credit to the bank accounts of beneficiaries, RBI had advised lenders to open accounts in camps with support from local authorities.

The attempt to use Aadhaar to curb subsidy leakages, which started during the previous government, has been continued by the current administration. In his budget speech in February, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the government would provide statutory backing to Aadhaar

In March 2016, the Lok Sabha passed the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, which seeks to make the use of Aadhaar mandatory to avail subsidies.

The government’s efforts were primarily geared towards fixing leaks in the DBT schemes and ensure that the beneficiaries got the funds in a secure manner.

“The bottomline is to move away from physical cash and towards a digital money economy... With Aadhaar, the banks can achieve a broader objective of digitizing data which can be used to gain analytical information. This would improve the life of the customers for the better. Moreover, it will also help banks reduce their cost of delivery by making services more customised,” said Naresh Makhijani, partner and head (financial services) at consultancy KPMG.