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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Friday, July 29, 2016

10178 - Disregarding Supreme Court Order, UGC Makes Aadhar Mandatory For Scholarships - Huffington Post

Disregarding Supreme Court Order, UGC Makes Aadhar Mandatory For Scholarships

30/06/2016 6:16 PM IST | Updated July 15, 2016 08:27

Politics Editor

MINT VIA GETTY IMAGES

NEW DELHI, INDIA - JULY 24: People stand in queue during Aadhar card camp, pilot project for authentication of UID cards at Mayur Vihar, Phase 2, on July 24, 2012 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- Disregarding the Supreme Court order, which limited linking the Aadhaar card to six government schemes, the University Grants Commission has made it "mandatory" for students to provide biometric data before they can avail of "government subsidies, scholarships and fellowships."

On June 29, 2016, UGC secretary Jaspal S. Sandhu sent a letter to Vice-Chancellors of all universities and institutes, which said that Aadhaar has been made "mandatory for disbursement of all government subsidies, scholarships and fellowships" for the financial year 2016-2017.

The letter, which HuffPost India has seen, requests all universities to "seek the details of the beneficiaries and put all information on universities/institutions' websites," and email a copy to the UGC, a statutory body of the Government of India. “The HRD Ministry, vide its letter dated June 10, 2016, has instructed the commission that from financial year 2016-17 Aadhaar has been mandatory for disbursement of all government subsidies, scholarships and fellowships, which are to be disbursed directly into the beneficiaries’ account,” Sandhu wrote.

On October 15, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that Aadhaar could only be linked to six government schemes (Public Distribution Scheme, L.P.G Distribution Scheme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employement Guarantee Scheme, the National Social Assistance Programme, Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana and Employees' Provident Fund Organisation) on a "voluntary" basis.

The Aadhaar Bill, which allows the government to ask any citizen for Aadhaar to avail of government subsides or schemes, was recently passed by Parliament, but the The Aadhaar Act, 2016, is yet to come into force. And until that happens, the Supreme Court order reigns supreme, according to lawyers and activists.

Furthermore, in view of the several petitions challenging the Aadhaar card scheme, and the Supreme Court still mulling over whether the Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right in India, the Aadhaar Act is still not home free.

"This is a clear and unequivocal violation of the Supreme Court order," said Prasanna S., a Delhi-based lawyer, who is handling litigation challenging the Aadhaar scheme in the Supreme Court, referring to the UGC order.

"This is contempt of court," he said.

For the Act to come into force, the Centre will issue a notification which states that the Act and its regulations have come into force, and this could still take several months, according to Prasanna. In the meantime, the Centre cannot connect Aadhaar in either a "mandatory" or "voluntary" capacity to any scheme other than the six mentioned in the Supreme Court order.

UGC's Sandhu has not responded to HuffPost India's request for comment.

The Modi government orchestrated the passage of the Aadhaar Bill by treating it as a money bill, which allowed for it clearing the Lok Sabha, where the Bharaitya Janata Party forms the majority, while ignoring the amendments suggested by the Rajya Sabha.

"Both this and the previous government, have brazenly violated the Supreme Court's orders, making a mockery of the Court and causing hardship to people in getting their legal entitlements--be it scholarships, rations or work," said Reetika Khera, an economist in the humanities and social sciences department at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

The issue of Aadhaar cards, which links government schemes and services to biometric data and unique identity numbers, has been controversial. Both the Congress Party led-United Progressive Alliance government, and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government have argued that Aadhaar will allow subsidies to reach beneficiaries directly, and prevent middlemen from siphoning off subsidies worth thousands of crores of rupees.

On the other hand, there are many activists, academics and politicians who believe that such a bank of biometric data can be used by the government for "mass surveillance"" in the name of "national security." Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session in March, Biju Janata Dal's Tathagata Satpathy said that he feared that the Modi government would use the data for "mass surveillance" and "ethnic cleansing."

Following the Lok Sabha's rejection of the amendments proposed by the Rajya Sabha in the Budget Session, senior Congress Party leader Jairam Ramesh challenged the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill, which will come up for hearing in the Supreme Court, later this month.

Ramesh's challenge, combined with the pending decision by the Supreme Court on whether the Right to Privacy is a fundamental right in India, would also impact the future of the Aadhar Act. "The implication of both these is that the provisions of the Aadhaar Act will be subject to review imminently," said Raman Jit Singh Chima, Policy Director at Access Now.