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.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

10227 - PM Modi talks internal security, Aadhaar, education at inter-state meet - Live Mint

Last Modified: Sat, Jul 16 2016. 10 05 PM IST


Narendra Modi reiterates commitment to cooperative federalism with the union and state governments working as a team for the development of the country

File photo. PM Narendra Modi urged chief ministers to share intelligence with central agencies and to coordinate among state police departments in view of the threats India faces vis-a-vis terrorism. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Internal security, effective implementation of direct benefit transfers to the poor through Aadhaar, improving the quality of education using technology and building stronger centre-state relations dominated Saturday’s inter-state council meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state chief ministers which met for the first time in a decade.

In his closing remarks, Modi urged chief ministers to share intelligence with central agencies and to coordinate among state police departments in view of the threats India faces vis-a-vis terrorism.

“Terrorism should be put down with an iron hand,” an official statement from the home ministry said after the conclusion of the talks, quoting Modi. It said that the prime minister emphasized the need for smart policing and the training required including in tackling cyber crimes.

A person familiar with Saturday’s meeting said “the Council discussed the importance of maintaining internal security by better intelligence sharing between the States and Central agencies....The need for modernizing the police force with better equipment and training was also emphasized.”
On Aadhaar, state representatives assured Modi full support in completing enrollment for the programme and in setting up special cells to promote its use in directly transferring state benefits to the poor. Modi asked his officials to collect data from states on the extent of savings achieved in curbing subsidy leakage on account of using Aadhaar linked benefits transfer.
The council decided that recommendations of justice M.M. Punchhi, retired chief justice of India, on centre-state relations will be taken forward for implementation.

Modi also urged states to reduce consumption of kerosene, in light of the higher number of LPG cylinders being distributed and improvements in village lighting. He promised to transfer three-fourth of the subsidy savings from reduced kerosene usage to states. “The government of Karnataka, while moving swiftly on this initiative, has sent its proposal to the Petroleum Ministry. This has been accepted and the grant has been disbursed to the state government,” said Modi. If all states reduce kerosene consumption by 25%, they can receive about Rs.1,600 crore as grant this year, the prime minister said.
Saturday’s inter-state council meeting had many firsts, said the person cited above.

“Notable among them is that, for the first time a meeting of the Inter-State Council has covered a wide ranging topics of common interest to the Centre and the States. Previously Inter-State Council meetings focused on just one or two sectors. It is also important to add here that this meeting has been held after a gap of 10 years.”

Besides remarks from the prime minister and the participating chief ministers, there were also presentations by secretaries of the Departments of Electronics and IT, School Education and Literacy and the ministry of home affairs.

“The consensus view that emerged in the Council with regard to improving the quality of education and learning outcomes was that there has to be an improvement in the pupil-teacher ratio and in the training of teachers,” the person cited above said.
“Besides, focus also needs to be there on improving classroom processes and in the quality of school infrastructure. All these should be achieved in a time-bound manner,” the person said.
The prime minister said that “in addition focus on the quality of education and learning outcomes also. Technology can greatly help in this. We should proactively take steps to bridge the disparities in the standards between the better endowed and poorly endowed schools,” the person cited above quoted the prime minister as saying.

Earlier, inaugurating the inter-state council meeting on Saturday, Modi reiterated his commitment to cooperative federalism with the union and state governments working as a team for the development of the country.
Modi said that the meeting was beneficial because it not only helps improve relations between states but also centre-state relations.

“There are not many opportunities when leaders of union government and state governments are able to meet. This meeting is to strengthen cooperative federalism. The meeting will not only help formulations of policies, it will also help in execution of those policies. I hope the discussion will be with an open mind,” said Modi.

Modi quoted former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said that debate, deliberation and discussion can help in the development of the country and also to focus on formulation and execution of policy decisions taken by the union and state governments.

“Development is possible only if centre and state governments work together for the country. Any government may not be able to work alone. The meeting of the inter-state council has not been held since 2006 and I happy that home minister Rajnath Singh has called this meeting,” Modi said.

“The meeting is an attempt to ensure that union and state governments hold debate and discussion to serve the people better and provide a secure future to the people of the country,” Modi added.

The inter-state meeting comes exactly two days before the start of the monsoon session of Parliament where the government is keen to push its reform agenda forward. Senior leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have been meeting Congress leaders to build a consensus on the passage of the constitutional amendment bill to roll out the goods and services tax (GST).