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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Sunday, September 11, 2016

10401 - DBT Blues: Add a zero at the end - Governance Now

The government claimed that DBT in cooking gas saved over Rs 21,000 crore. Now the CAG finds that the actual figure was less than a tenth of it

Pratap Vikram Singh | September 8, 2016 | New Delhi


- See more at: http://www.governancenow.com/news/regular-story/dbt-blues-add-a-zero-the-end#sthash.F8xG9zys.dpuf

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has strongly contested the government’s claim of having saved several thousands of crores through the direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL). In an audit report titled ‘Implementation of Pratyaksh Hastantrit Labh Yojana (PAHAL Scheme)’, it put the savings at only Rs 1,763.93 crore against the government claim of Rs 21,261 crore, in 2014-15 and 2015-16. The government launched the scheme in November 2014. To sell the effectiveness of the DBT platform as ‘the’ medium to deliver social security payments and benefits, the government claimed that the savings accrued from the transfer of subsidy paid on the cooking gas directly into consumers’ bank accounts was Rs 14,818 crore for 2014-15 and Rs 6,443 crore for 2015-16. The cash transfer system was conceptualised by the UPA government, which called it a ‘game-changer’ and key to revive its fortunes in the 2014 national elections. Due to faulty execution, the UPA government abandoned the programme just before elections, fearing backlash from the voters. In his 2015 Independence Day address, PM Modi claimed that India had saved Rs 15,000 crore annually in subsidy outgo for cooking gas thanks to DBTL and GiveItUp campaign. The auditor also found several duplications and errors in the databases of the three oil marketing companies. “Audit verified existence of multiple connections bearing ‘same Aadhaar number’ and ‘same bank IFSC and same bank account number’. The verification identified 74,180 LPG customers linked to 37,090 Aadhaar numbers indicating existence of multiple connections. In the case of ‘same bank IFSC and the same bank account number’, 17,694 LPG ‘active’ customer IDs were linked with 8,847 same bank IFSC and same bank account number,” the report said. The CAG noted that although the DBTL scheme seems to address the issue of diversion of subsidised LPG cylinders for commercial purposes, there is “the risk of diversion of non-subsidised domestic LPG for commercial uses”. There is, indeed, a significant difference in the cost of non-subsidised domestic LPG and commercial LPG on account of differential taxes and duties levied on the two categories of consumers. Some highlights from the report: * The actual subsidy payout during the period from April 2015 to December 2015 was Rs 12,084.24 crore as against Rs 35,400.46 crore during April 2014 to December 2014. The significant reduction of Rs 23,316.21 crore in subsidy payout was on account of the combined effect of decrease in off-take of subsidised cylinders by consumers and lower subsidy rates arising from the sharp fall in crude prices in 2015-16. Audit examination indicated that reduced subsidy rate on account of fall in crude oil price resulted in reduced subsidy payout of Rs 21,552.28 crore, while the effect on the same due to reduced offtake of cylinders by consumers worked out to Rs 1,763.93 crore. Therefore, it is evident that the lower subsidy rates in 2015-16 are, by far, the most significant factor resulted in subsidy savings. * The ministry of petroleum and natural gas estimated (in February 2016) potential savings in LPG subsidy for 2015-16 at Rs 9,211 crore while the oil marketing companies estimated the savings for the same period at Rs 5,107.48 crore. The methodologies adopted by the ministry and the OMCs were different. In both estimations, however, audit noticed inherent inconsistencies which would lower the estimated savings. MoPNG assumed that the inactive or blocked consumers, who were not eligible for subsidy would have availed the entire quota of 12 cylinders against the national average per capita consumption of 6.27 cylinders in 2014-15. Considering the national average off-take of 6.27 cylinders (as used by OMCs in their estimation), the estimated savings in subsidy for 2015-16 would be Rs 4,813 crore only. pratap@governancenow.com