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


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


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, July 17, 2016

10156 - Quoting Aadhaar may become mandatory for small savings - TNN

Shishir Arya | Jun 20, 2016, 03.45 AM IST

Nagpur: In a bid to prevent multiple investments by individuals, the ministry of finance is considering making it mandatory to quote Aadhaar number while parking funds in small savings schemes. The schemes are managed by National Savings Institute (NSI) which has its headquarters in the city.
Under the new government, it has been planned to revamp the NSI. One of the measures include making it mandatory for the investor to quote Aadhaar number at the time of purchasing any of the plans. Deliberations are underway on the issue, said a source in the ministry of finance.
There is an upper limit on investment in the schemes. However, NSI does not have a foolproof system to verify multiple investments over and above the limit. For example, an individual cannot invest more than Rs1.5 lakh in a year in PPF. However, there are instances of same person having multiple investments exceeding the caps cumulatively. Since a single investment is within the limit, it is easy to evade the authorities.
Cross-checking can be done through permanent account number (PAN). But PAN need not be quoted for an investment below Rs50,000, said a source.
Aadhaar on the other hand is used as an unique identity number and any multiple investment can be checked by referring to it. Given the penetration, it is expected that a large number of targeted investors will have an Aadhaar number, said a source.
At present, small savings are being governed through three different laws. These include — Government of India Savings Act, Government of India Savings Certificate Act, and the Public Provident Fund (PPF) Act. There are plans to merge the three statutes into one. This will help in making it easy to govern the small savings products. Most of the plans are sold through post offices, with PPF and senior citizens's savings accounts also available at bank counters. The provision on making Aadhaar mandatory may be included in the unified act, said the source. A system of online reporting of collections in small savings may also be introduced as a part of the revamp measures.
The funds collected through small savings schemes are pooled in the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF). The corpus is used to finance the state government's infrastructure projects. Recently, the government has also introduced a system of quarterly revision of interest rates in small savings products. The second revision is due this month. The rates are pegged with yields of benchmark government securities.
There have been cases of multiple investments to park funds over and above the upper limit
PAN can help cross check, but it need not be quoted for investments below Rs50,000
Aadhaar would be used as unique identity number, irrespective of size of investment
Multiple investments crossing limits can be prevented by cross-checking Aadhaar