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.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10328 - Aadhaar-linked joint accounts pose a new hurdle for MGNREGS wages - Live Mint


With banks linking the numbers of only the primary account holder, secondary beneficiaries are not getting paid

According to government estimates, there are 280 million workers under MGNREGS, of which 109.8 million are active workers. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

New Delhi: Payment of wages under the government’s rural job guarantee programme to beneficiaries who hold Aadhaar-linked joint bank accounts, or one that is shared by more than two people, are being held up because of procedural problems.
With banks linking the Aadhaar number of only the primary account holder, other holders of the same bank account are unable to receive payments.

The rural development ministry is unable to credit wage payments to many workers under the Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee scheme (MGNREGS) since 1 April, when payments to workers moved to the direct benefit transfer (DBT) platform, requiring them to hold an Aadhaar-linked bank account where the money is deposited.

The ministry of rural development has written to the department of financial services in the ministry of finance highlighting this issue, said two government officials familiar with the matter.

According to government estimates, there are 280 million workers under MGNREGS, of which 109.8 million are active workers.

However, these 109.8 million active workers only have 80.7 million bank accounts, as many of the women and the adult children are joint account holders with the male head of the family.

“There are instances where there are two workers who hold a joint account. The banks are saying that we will seed the Aadhaar number into only the name of the main account holder. 

But what about the wives or the adult kids? How will payments be made to them? Joint account is creating a problem. The rural development secretary has written to the department of financial services secretary on this,” said one of the government officials cited above. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.
Launched in 2006, the rural employment programme has been a key source of livelihood for millions of rural households. The programme guarantees up to 100 days of unskilled work in a year to every rural household and was credited with raising rural household incomes.

One of the criticisms of the programme, which has been largely lauded for reducing poverty and providing jobs to unskilled labour, is that it has created assets like village ponds that have no durability.

“We have written to the finance ministry and so far, we have not heard from them. Around 12% of all bank accounts under NREGA are such joint accounts. We had a video conference last week with states and urged them to ensure that accounts opened for payments have only one name to avoid problems,” said the second official.

Around 95% of the wage payments are being directly deposited in the bank accounts of beneficiaries.

Most of the areas have been covered under DBT with the exception of Arunachal Pradesh and some districts such as Cooch Behar in West Bengal.

Y.P. Issar, a former banker, said the main purpose of Aadhaar is identification of the beneficiary and facilitating payments.
“One needs to find a practical solution. So far, I have not heard of seeding two Aadhaars with one bank account as the focus of banks till now has been to ensure that every bank account is seeded with Aadhaar,” he said, adding that a better solution may be to ensure that every beneficiary gets an individual bank account.