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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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10340 - Transforming India - Hindu Businessline



The Centre needs to stay focussed on implementing the promises made in the past

The Modi government has been accused in the past of being big on slogans, but not so big on delivery. While slogans do play an important role in conveying a message to the masses, there is a risk of rhetoric overwhelming reality. This is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech came as a refreshing departure from the past. While Modi’s wonted oratorial skills were very much in evidence, the thrust of the speech was less about slogans and more about implementation. This focus on outcomes rather than intentions is welcome. Indeed, outcomes should be the focus of this, or any government. If at all another slogan is needed, it should be ‘Implementation, 

Implementation, Implementation’. For, this administration, more than any that preceded it, will be judged on its implementation record.

There is no denying that the National Democratic Alliance government has speeded up implementation of projects, acted on prices and on the whole taken forward the reforms process set in motion by the preceding governments. More notably, Modi has not only embraced some of the previous government’s schemes such as Aadhaar and the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, as well as direct transfer of benefits and subsidies, but brought his wonted powers of execution to bear on them, ensuring that what had, with the exception of MNREGS, largely remained merely good ideas were transformed into actions that benefit the poor. Incidentally, some of these projects had been criticised by Modi in the run up to the May 2014 general elections. The fact that not only were these schemes not scrapped, but pursued with vigour, signals a growing maturity in our polity. Reforms are a continuous process, which need some course correction every few years, particularly with changes in economic environment and social circumstances. As the Prime Minister correctly stated in his speech from Red Fort to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, all policies should aim to serve the national interest. And so, it is in the national interest for an incoming government to carry forward a previous government’s scheme after rectifying shortcomings in the scheme.

Over the past two years that it has been in office at the Centre, the NDA government has time and again demonstrated this ability to seize a good idea and implement it fully. It took diesel price deregulation, that had begun during the UPA’s term, to its logical conclusion. Further, the learnings from diesel price deregulation are now being leveraged to reduce the subsidy bill on both kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas. . 

The transformative Jan Dhan Yojana, which has provided access to financial services to millions of poor, or leveraging the potential of Aadhaar, or even getting the better off to surrender LPG subsidy voluntarily and use the money so saved to provide LPG connections to poor rural households, and finally getting the GST Bill moving, are all signal achievements.. The challenge before Modi now is to deliver on his latest slogan: “Reform, perform, transform.”