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.


Friday, June 10, 2016

10115 - Government to launch platform to track how subsidies have been beneficial at family level - Economic Times

By Neha Alawadhi & Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | 8 Jun, 2016, 02.48AM IST

The plan is to roll out the Sarvam platform for the Union Territories on a test basis by September and expand it to eight states by November.

NEW DELHI: What Aadhaar is to an individual, Sarvam will be to a family. The Narendra Modi government is gearing up to launch a national platform to track how subsidies have been beneficial at the family level and give each one a Sarvam number. 

The Cabinet Secretariat and the Department of Electronics & Information Technology have collaborated on the project, which two senior government officials described as a futuristic step forward in Digital India that could help the government determine if the gamut of subsidies have improved the life of a family as a unit. 

"Sarvam is envisaged as a universal database, cross-linked with all government subsidy schemes, Aadhaar and bank accounts for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) on one platform for better tracking of benefits availed at a family level. 

From an outcome perspective, the government would like to know that if a family avails five subsidies, whether it's sufficient or its income level has increased," a senior official said. 

The official added that the platform will help increase savings under DBT, under which cash is transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries, and further plug leakages. The officials spoke to ET on condition of anonymity. The prime minister has been stressing on Rs 36,500-crore savings so far due to DBT. 

ROLLOUT PLAN The plan is to roll out the Sarvam platform for the Union Territories on a test basis by September and expand it to eight states by November. 

"States such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have attempted to create such a family database. What they lack is...a more universal model where, if a person moves from Rajasthan to Delhi, it can operate and different systems speak to each other," an official added. 

The existing records of the Socio-Economic Caste Census and the National Population Register will be used to create the Sarvam family database. "Sarvam is being envisaged to be 

implemented as a social security platform, which will significantly enhance the quality of service delivery for beneficiary schemes and also reduce the leakages," said Neel Ratan, government and public sector leader at consultancy PwC India, which is helping the government on the Sarvam project. 

A senior official said that while Aadhaar is an individual number with no connection to family or region, government subsidy schemes are provided area-wise or, as in the case of rations, to families. The government's ultimate aim is to be able to make decisions for "more targeted subsidy" delivery, the official said. 

Using Sarvam, the government can decide whether more money should be given to a family instead of providing piecemeal subsidies across schemes or whether the needs of a household can be met by increasing or decreasing the number of schemes they get. 

"In a village, for example, a few people end up availing of the benefits of government schemes, while others get left out. Sarvam will provide that linkage to plug such practices and also help identify people using false identities and hence help more DBT savings," the official said. 

The Sarvam platform is being touted as the fulfilment of the main objective of Aadhaar — to universalise identity proof and to use it to plug leakages in the delivery of welfare services. 

"For DBT to happen, the government ultimately has to go digital. For that to happen, we need to have a beneficiary database that is auto-updated," said an official. 

Another senior official described Sarvam as a mechanism to link, update and screen databases that are linked to Aadhaar. "It will not replace any of the existing databases. 

Aadhaar seeding (linking Aadhaar to benefit cards or personal identification documents) is going to be done in meeting databases. A common database for seeding Aadhaar with NPR has already been done," said this official. 


SECURITY ASPECTS The government is also thinking about the security aspects of the platform and will put up firewalls to protect the database, details of which will be revealed only on a need-to-know basis, the official said. The inspiration for Sarvam may have come from Madhya Pradesh, which has a portal called Samagra that enables monitoring of subsidy schemes given to each individual and family in the state through a Samagra number. However, the system works only within the state.