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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Saturday, August 27, 2016

10305 - Nandan Nilekani sees Aadhaar playing a role after GST rollout - Money Control

Aug 03, 2016, 03.14 PM | Source: CNBC-TV18 


Speaking to CNBC-TV18 Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, said he believes the government will listen to all stakeholders and devise a simple system for the GST rollout.


Speaking to CNBC-TV18 Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, said that the backend IT has been put in place well ahead of GST rollout. If GST is rolled out, it is believed that tax experts will have to cope with cumbersome procedures. Nilekani said that a lot of business rules can be implemented through technology. He believes that laws should be drafted in a way that simplifies the ease of doing business. He believes that the government will listen to stakeholders and devise a simple system. The role of Aadhaar will play a role, however small, he said, as small businesses will come under the GST net. Below is the verbatim transcript of Nandan Nilekani's interview to Surabhi Upadhyay on CNBC-TV18. Q: Goods and service tax (GST) is what we are all talking about and we could finally see movement after a decade long wait. Do you think this has the potential to perhaps revolutionise the indirect tax landscape of the country? A: Absolutely, the GST will make India single market for goods and services, reduce transaction cost and enable business to grow. A critical part of that will be the proper implementation of the GST Network (GSTN), a technology company that is building the platform and making everything paperless, so that is a very important part of achieving this goal. Q: You were at the forefront of the creation of that IT infrastructure for the tax framework, so what do you think even if we get the legislative changes out of the way, is the backend IT backbone in place to roll out this tax? A: I think creating the technology infrastructure for GST well ahead of time was thanks to the foresight of Pranab Mukherjee who was the finance minister at that time and he setup a committee under me to create this body and it is a unique body, which is owned by the central government and the state government and by some financial institutions and excellent leadership -- Chairman Navin Kumar, Prakash Kumar is the MD. So they have done a lot of work and we have implemented a lot of thing and I am very confident that they will be ready in time for the launch date whenever it is. Q: How was your experience in creating that GST IT network, was it difficult to build a bridge between central and state governments? A: I have to get everybody aligned, but I was very fortunate that I have worked with two finance ministers, Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram and I worked with two empowered committee chairs, Dr Asim Dasgupta of West Bengal and Sushil Modi of Bihar and both of them were very supportive. Because of the support both from the finance ministers as well as the empowered committee, we were able to come up with a very state-of-the-art design of GST, which was approved by the EC about 3-4 years back, so that is what is now getting implemented. Q: Specifically about the IT sector, tax experts have been pointing out that the industry might have to cope with slightly more cumbersome procedures. For example, some experts have been saying that let us say for instance if Infosys wins a contract from maybe a State Bank of India (SBI) then the company might have to make separate invoices for each state. So, is this how you are reading the picture as well, is it going to be a bit of deterrent for the IT sector? A: I don't know the details but obviously the law should be drafted in a way that it simplifies the ease of doing business and the law should be drafted keeping in mind that we will have a very advanced technology and a lot of the business rules can be implemented through technology. That is what needs to be done. Q: What about e-commerce because that is the next big concern. E-commerce companies will come under the tax ambit and there is a widespread belief that they will be adversely impacted, it will perhaps increase the compliance burden because it is going to be calculated on the transaction value according to the model law. Is this again a big concern? A: I have not paid attention to these kind of things. I do hope that the government will listen to all the stakeholders and design a simple, transparent, efficient tax system using technology. Q: What do you see will the role of Aadhaar be in the entire implementation process? A: Aadhaar to the extent that there are individual tax payers many small businesses will come into GST because service tax on many small businesses and often they are run by one man entrepreneurs who may use Aadhaar number. So, it is not directly there but it can play a role in simplifying the whole thing.