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 28, 2016

10315 - HE MULTIPLE FACETS OF AADHAAR - Daily Pioneer


Monday, 08 August 2016 | Himanshu Lal | in Oped

The Government’s decision to link direct benefit transfers with Aadhaar can be a game-changer in a sense that it will empower not only various schemes but also numerous sections of the society. Sooner or later, Aadhaar has to become the aadhar of the country

Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique   identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for all residents in the country on a voluntary basis. The number is stored in a centralised database and is linked to basic demographics and biometric information-photograph, 10 fingerprints and iris of each individual. It ensures uniqueness and there can be no space for duplicity in the future as per the present technology.

Initially, Aadhaar was used only for identification purpose, but now, it is being used as a device for direct benefit transfers (DBT) to the poor and needy under various Government schemes. Aadhaar is a real game-changer for this country. Till now, due to various cases in the Supreme Court, only a few schemes related to the poor and needy viz, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), the National Social Assistance Programme, the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, various scholarship programmes, LPG subsidy etc, could become Aadhaar-based.

The total savings on behalf of leakages due to Aadhaar-based seeding, during the last five and a half years, tantamount to billions of rupees. A World Bank study which applaudes the Aadhaar-based seeding points out, “India’s fuel subsidy programme, implementing cash transfers to Aadhaar-linked bank accounts, to buy liquefied petroleum gas cylinders, saved about one billion dollar per year when applied throughout the country.”

According to another report, the implementation of Aadhaar enabled four States viz, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Pondicherry and Delhi save a total amount of Rs 2346 crore.
On the other hand, the Government estimates to have saved over Rs 27,000 crore by cash transfers for payments to beneficiaries under various welfare schemes in the last two years. DBT has resulted in significant savings across welfare schemes. It has also resulted in weeding out of duplicate beneficiaries. For instance, over 1.6 crore (16 million) bogus ration cards have been deleted, resulting in savings to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore.

Similarly, 3.5 crore duplicate beneficiaries were weeded out in the PAHAL scheme, resulting in savings of over Rs 14,000 crore in 2014-2015 alone. Similar efforts in MGNREGS led to a saving of Rs 3,000 crore — roughly 10 per cent of the entire annual budget of the reform. Several States and Union Territories too have achieved significant savings through DBT.

On April 4, UIDAI generated the 100th crore Aadhaar. Also, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016, was passed on the March 11 by the Lok Sabha.

The generation of the 100th crore Aadhaar and the passage of the Aadhaar Act will be remembered as two landmark events in the history of India. With this, Aadhaar has become the largest online digital identity platform in the world. Not only this, presently, it is the world’s one of the most secured data repository system too. Functionally, it is better than the digital identity system of Chile, Ghana, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey or Egypt.

Very few people are aware of the fact that Aadhaar-based identification system is more mammoth, more secure and more unique than the United States’ Social Security number-based identification system which does not cover the biometrics and iris of individual. It covers only the demographic data of an individual and hence, it cannot be unique and secure. It can be fudged, altered or manipulated which is not true for Aadhaar-enabled system in India.

The passage of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, will facilitate the formation of a statutory unique identification authority of India and the linkages of Aadhaar-enabled system to various schemes, programmes and services of Government of India, starting from taking benefit of a scheme to railway reservations, to income tax collections.   Every scheme and service in India can be connected to the Aadhaar network.

This new Act provides for several measures for the security and confidentiality of information. There are restrictions on sharing of information and there are punishments and penalties for misuse of information/impersonation in the Act.

Hence, the new Aadhaar Act, at one time, provides for the facilitation of the Aadhaar-based linkages with the different schemes/services of Government of India which will help save billions of exchange every year. At the same time, it has tried to secure the information provided by citizen in the best possible way by having various provisions to ensure the security of information.

The future of it lies in the speed with which the services and schemes are linked with Aadhaar in as little time as possible.  Every activity of business, enterprise or Government has a potential of being linked with Aadhaar-based system which, at this time, is one of the most well-secured information infrastructure of the world.

Even mobile companies can make their mobiles Aadhaar-enabled. This will help the citizens avail any service from a click of a mobile in a secured way. Also, the Government of India spends huge money in elections and in managing the election structure. Aadhaar-enabled voting system, if implemented in the future, will not only help the Government save billions of rupees, which are being incurred in providing EPIC cards, revision of electoral rolls, and eliminating duplicate entries from such lists, but will also help generate every individuals vote. Sooner or later, Aadhaar has to become the aadhar of the country.

This very Aadhaar programme,  ideally supports the motto of ‘maximum governance and minimum Government’, that was echoed by the NDA Government at the Centre. This will surely help in heralding a new age in India’s governance system which is badly in need of an immediate overhaul.

While bringing governance to the maximum use of people, through the medium of information and communication technology, Aadhaar can truly be regarded as one step ahead in an emerging global power like India. Indians having an identity
proving to be more than what they have in the past, Aadhaar needs to be promoted across the country through education campaign in schools and in news media in a massive way what it is done today.

(The writer is Additional Director General of UIDAI)