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.


Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10340 - Narendra Modi steadily improving his reforms scorecard - Live Mint

Last Modified: Wed, Aug 17 2016. 03 55 AM IST



Recent set of reforms are important institutional changes for the long run


Narendra Modi needs to start working on the next set of reforms that may get executed only after 2019. Illustration: Jayachandran/Mint

No Narendra Modi speech is complete without a spattering of alliterative tricks, rhetorical flourishes and strange acronyms that would make a management consultant proud. These are admired and mocked in equal measure.

During his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Monday, the prime minister said that his mantra was to “reform, perform and transform”. He gave an impressive list of achievements to back his claim. For example, easier access to government services, faster approvals of new business enterprises, reducing the stranglehold of middlemen over the appointment of new entrants into government jobs at the lower levels, less harassment of taxpayers by officials, and much more.

This was Modi at his best. His ability as a good administrator is widely recognized. His personal popularity has also given him the political capital to take tough decisions rather than compulsively pander to electoral populism. All but his worst critics will agree that corruption at the very pinnacle of government has been curtailed. In other words, a lot of the focus has been—in terms of the mantra to reform, perform and transform—on performance.

There has been less confidence about the ability of the Modi government to reform—not to work more efficiently within the existing rules of the game but to actually alter the rules of the game. Yet, the record on this front actually looks far better than six months ago, and has perhaps not been adequately appreciated. Since the beginning of the year, the Modi government has pushed through several landmark changes that can be game-changers.

First, the new monetary policy framework legally binds Indian monetary policy to a formal inflation target. Second, the passage of the Aadhaar Bill creates a unique opportunity to ensure that welfare schemes reach the people they are meant to help. Third, the bankruptcy law deals with what has been called the problem of capitalism without exit. Fourth, the introduction of a goods and services tax will radically overhaul the indirect tax system, make it less distortionary and help create a common market across the country. Fifth, a committee has begun work on a new fiscal law that should reduce the perverse tendency of running a pro-cyclical fiscal policy.

These are significant achievements. Some of them do not fit in with the idea of big-bang reforms that the stock markets love or business interests lobby for. They do not have the sex appeal of a tax cut or an increase in foreign investment limits. What we have seen in recent months are important institutional changes whose impact will be truly felt in the long run. They can alter the dynamics of economic growth, macroeconomic policy and the welfare system.

There is a problem, however. A lot of the preparatory work for these legal reforms began under the previous regime led by Manmohan Singh. The baton was then passed to the current government.

There is nothing wrong in such continuity. Deep institutional change needs long years of work that spans multiple regimes. Even the terms of reference for the 14th Finance Commission were set before Modi became prime minister. The National Democratic Alliance has shown maturity in staying the course, despite some early doubts in the case of Aadhaar.

What now? Modi needs to get his public policy advisers to work on the next set of reforms that may eventually see the light of day only after 2019. These include financial sector reforms, liberalizing the factor markets, getting the education system back on track, deep fiscal reforms that create space for a massive increase in the supply of public goods, and lots more. There is also the need to build state capacity. The groundwork for the road ahead has to begin soon.

How does Modi’s reforms scorecard look today? Tell us at views@livemint.com