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.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

10279 - Opposition forces Rajya Sabha adjournment protesting Aadhaar-linked benefits - Economic Times

By PTI | Jul 28, 2016, 01.11 PM IST

The House was first adjourned till noon, then for about 15 minutes and once again till 2 PM as the Opposition uproar continued unabated.

NEW DELHI: A united opposition today disrupted Rajya Sabha proceedings protesting against making Aadhaar card mandatory for availing government benefits like subsidised LPG, PDS supplies and pensions, forcing its adjournment thrice since morning. 

The House was first adjourned till noon, then for about 15 minutes and once again till 2 PM as the Opposition uproar continued unabated. 

Opposition TMC, BJD and SP had given notices for suspension of business to take up the issue which also found support from the Left parties and the Congress. The notices were rejected by the Chair. 

While the government clarified that the unique identification number (UID) or Aadhaar card issued to citizens was not mandatory for availing government benefits and necessary instruction to this effect were being issued, dissatisfied opposition members trooped into the Well raising slogans, forcing adjournment of proceedings till noon. 

Soon after the House assembled and listed papers laid, Naresh Agarwal (SP), Derek O'Brien (TMC) and Dilip Tirkey (BJD) said they had given notices under rule 267, but Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said their motion has not been permitted. 

Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) said the Centre has issued instructions to state governments to stop ration card benefits, pensions and subsidised LPG to those not having Aadhaar card. 

As much as 40 per cent of the population do not have Aadhaar card and the move will hit the poor hard, he said. 

Derek O'Brien said the BJP-led government talks of cooperative federalism but takes decisions without discussing with states. Making Aadhaar mandatory will have serious repurcusions across the country, he said. 

Tirkey (BJD) said with 20 per cent of the population in Odisha do not have Aadhaar card, the instruction by the Centre will only create problems for the poor. 

In his response, Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu said the Act passed by Parliament provides that government benefits can be availed through Aadhaar cards. 

The government, he said, has taken note of the concerns raised by members. "It (Aadhaar card) is not compulsory. If necessary, necessary instructions will be issued," he said. 

The Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) - the scheme of paying government benefits directly to users, was started by the previous UPA government, he said, adding "DBT is need of the hour" as it helps eliminate corruption, middlemen and leakages. 

Observing that Aadhaar will not be made mandatory till the entire population gets such cards or UID numbers, he said "I will ensure necessary clarification is issued at the earliest." 

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said people who have not got Aadhaar have been asked to get them in next three months after which their LPG subsidy will be "parked" separately. "It is not being cut," he said. 

Stating that 85 per cent population have got Aadhaar card, Pradhan said the penetration can be pushed only with the effort of the state government. 

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said decisions impacting poor should be taken with utmost sensitivity. 

Observing that DBT is not just about having Aadhaar card but the benefit has to go into bank accounts of beneficiaries, Tapan Kumar Sen (CPI-M) said the issue is linked to opening accounts and bank branches. 

Naresh Agarwal (SP) said the Centre has sent three departmental orders asking state governments to stop supply under public distribution system (PDS) to those ration card holders not having Aadhaar card, terminate their pension and subsidised LPG to those not having these cards. 

Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) asked if the government was aware of the October 2015 order of the Supreme Court that Aadhaar should be voluntary and not compulsory. 

While the Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act grants exemption to those who have applied for Aadhaar but not got it yet, will the same exemption apply to a person who has failed to apply for the card due to ignorance or poverty, he asked. 

Rajeev Shukla (Cong) said 68 per cent of the population were issued Aadhaar cards when the UPA was in power but the process has slowed down during two years of NDA rule. Till the cards are issued, people should not be deprived of benefits, he said. 

Naidu said the process of issuing Aadhaar cards has to be hastened. Till now 100 crore Aadhaar cards have been issued and some remain. The process of issue of Aadhaar to those left out has to be completed early. "We will do it," he said. 

But the members were not satisfied and trooped in to the Well of the House raising anti-government slogans. 

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien termed the situation as very unfortunate and said "You (opposition) raised relevant points. Minister responded. Now what is the need for this obstruction. This is unfair." 

In the din, Pradhan said exemption for Aadhaar based transfer of benefits was given to Assam and a similar request of Mizoram, where only 55 per cent have got Aadhaar cards, is under consideration. He also alleged that a group of middlemen was against issue of Aadhaar cards to all beneficiaries. 

As the members continued to shout slogans from the Well, Kurien asked them to return to their places. 

"It is very wrong on part of members to do this," he said. "If you want a discussion, there is no problem, give notice. Shouting your slogans will not serve any purpose. I this it is not justified," he said before adjourning the proceedings till noon. 

When the House reassembled at noon, the Question Hour also became a casuality as the opposition members continued to protest over making of Aadhar card compulsory to avail various benefits. 

Despite pleas by Chairman Hamid Ansari for maintaining decorum and allowing the Question Hour to function, the members of Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and JD-U came entered the Well shouting slogans like "Aadhaar card compulsory karna band karo" (stop making Aadhaar compulsory) and "Bina aadhar wale ko bhi allow karo" (allow those not having these cards) and "Ye sarkar nikammi hai" (this government is useless). 

Naidu also said this was "unfair" as he has already given an assurance to the House in this regard and the matter has been discussed already. 

The House was then adjourned for about 15 minutes. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House when the opposition created uproar. 

Asking the members to not raise slogans in the House and return to their seats, Ansari said "this is unfair. Please go back to your seats. Why are you doing this? These questions are yours." 


As opposition members continued to raise slogans and uproar, Ansari then adjourned the House till 2 PM.