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


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


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.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

10349 - Government plans to link Aadhaar with five big schemes focussed on children

By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | Aug 22, 2016, 12.33 AM IST

Out of the 23.42 crore people without an Aadhaar till date, 21.71 crore are children. Over 11 crore children get mid-day meals at schools.

NEW DELHI: Children receiving mid-day meals, primary healthcare or elementary education under government schemes will undergo Aadhaar enrolment as the Narendra Modi government is making a pitch for the first time to make Aadhaar relevant for children. 

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has asked for five big schemes focussed on crores of children in the country to be linked with Aadhaar enrolment of children, two officials familiar with the matter have told ET. These schemes are Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyanmik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). Children receiving benefits under these schemes, but without an Aadhaar, will now be enrolled for it. 

So far, Aadhaar usage has been focussed on adults - 98% of country's adults have an Aadhaar. But only 23% of children below five years of age and 65% of children aged between 5-18 have an Aadhaar as parents saw little use of enrolling kids for it. Out of the 23.42 Cr people without an Aadhaar in the country till date, 21.71 Cr are children. Over 11 Cr Children get mid-day meals at schools across the country. "The benefit will not be denied to any child if he does not have an Aadhaar...we will enroll the child for Aadhaar if he/she is without one," a senior official said. 

The Women And Child Development (WCD) and Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministries and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have been asked by PMO to advise states that grants given to schools or anganwadis should be based on Aadhaar-based enrolment and children are to be enrolled for Aadhaar. This will avoid any inconvenience at the stage when the Aadhaar Act is fully notified, another official added. 

"The Centre allots nearly Rs 50000 Cr every year in all for these 5 major child-specific programmes. As per the Aadhaar Act, all money going out of the consolidated fund of India to any beneficiary must be linked to Aadhaar. This will ensure no leakage or diversion of funds," the official told ET. 

The WCD Ministry, which implements ICDS and ICPS, and Department of School Education of the HRD Ministry, which oversees Mid-Day meal, SSA and RMSA, will "own the enrolment work" of children and "get on-boarded as Registrars" for Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) along with their state counterparts to carry out the enrolment work of children at a fast pace, officials aware of the matter explained. 

UIDAI is already telling all states to enrol infants under Aadhaar in hospitals soon after birth, like in Haryana, by linking Aadhaar with birth registration. Apart from special ongoing enrolment drives in schools and anganwadis, WCD Ministry has been asked to become a UIDAI registrar and do enrolments at anganwadis twice a year while the School Education Department has been asked to do the same in schools twice a year. 

Under the Mid-Day meal scheme, the Centre gives nearly Rs 10000 Cr a year to states for providing hot cooked meals to 11 Cr school-going children. Rs 22500 Cr was allotted to Sarv Shiksa Abhiyan in 2016-17 for elementary education of nearly 20 Cr children in the age group of 6-14 years while nearly Rs 10000 Cr is allotted to RMSA for enhancing children access to secondary education and achieve universal retention. 

The ICDS scheme at an annual central budget of Rs 8300 Cr reaches nearly 4 lakh infants under 6 years of age, providing them primary healthcare and immunisation facilities and help them fight malnutrition. The ICPS scheme meant to give protection to vulnerable children comes with a budget allocation of nearly Rs 400 Cr. Recently, the Centre had also made Aadhaar linking mandatory for students to get scholarships.