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 24, 2016

10143 - Modi’s Smart Welfare Hits States Roadblock Swarajya Staff - Swarajya


June 15, 2016, 8:05 pm

State governments are proving to be big impediment in Modi Government’s ambitious work of covering all National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) workers with Aadhaar cards and making sure that their payments are made through the Aadhaar-based payment bridge. The states ruled by the opposition parties in particular are among the big laggards, but some BJP-ruled states are not doing great either.

The Economic Times (ET) report (14 June) says that many big states, especially those ruled by the opposition like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Karnataka, are set to miss the Centre’s July-end deadline of seeding all MGNREGA workers with Aadhaar cards.

Last month, the central government had set an ambitious target of achieving 100 percent success in making all MGNREGA payments to the beneficiaries by direct bank transfer, after getting their consent. For this purpose, it directed the state governments to set up special camps. However, the results show that the state governments are failing. The ET report tabulates the performance of six big states. Here are its findings:

West Bengal has 1.34 crore MGNREGA workers. Only seven percent (22 lakh) of them are receiving Aadhaar-based payments. Since 15 May, when the special camps were launched, Mamata Banerjee’s government has been able to get the consent of only 1.67 lakh workers.

The situation is worse in Uttar Pradesh. It has 1.04 crore MGNREGA workers, but only five percent of them are receiving Aadhaar-based payments. The Akhilesh Yadav government could only register 1,178 workers in past one month.

Karnataka fares relatively better in the number of MNREGA workers currently receiving direct payments through Aadhaar mode. The state has 61.25 lakh workers, with 26 percent of them receiving Aadhaar-based payments - a respectable figure compared to other states. But it has performed worse than even Uttar Pradesh in acquiring people’s consent during the camps. Only 528 people have enrolled so far, less than half the number that UP could manage.

Bihar’s record in both the regular enrollment and on the latest drive is terrible. The state has 42.21 lakh MGNREGA workers. Only one percent of them are getting Aadhaar-based payments. Nitish Kumar’s government could enrol 3,674 workers in the camps since 15 May.

Are only the non-BJP governments proving to be the laggards? Not by a long shot.

In Madhya Pradesh, out of the 90.84 lakh MGNREGA workers, only 12 percent (10.63 lakh) are getting Aadhaar-based payments. The state has managed to add just 18,364 workers in the past month.

Gujarat’s record is slightly better, but not satisfactory. The Anandiben Patel’s government was able to enrol 41,340 more workers. This is certainly much higher than what others have accomplished; besides, it only has 18.39 lakh workers under MNREGA program. However, only 8 percent of them (1.39 lakh) are receiving Aadhaar-based payments, which is same as in other poorly performing states.

Weeding out duplicate beneficiaries and eliminating middleman are key to ending big-ticket corruption in these kind of schemes. The Prime Minister cannot drag the country through this ‘smart welfare’ revolution if the states refuse to do the heavy lifting.
Unless the states cooperate, the JAM Trinity (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) will fail. We cannot afford such failures.