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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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

10422 - The DigiLocker was supposed to cut down paperwork but less than 0.1% of Indians are using it - Scroll.In


Published Yesterday · 06:30 am.  


The official data shows that the platform has not enthused as many users as the government expected.


The government has been working hard to make all of India go digital – but its initiatives don't seem to be having the desired effect. Not yet anyway.

DigiLocker was launched in July last year as a secure platform for Indian citizens to store and access their documents on an electronic repository provided by the government of India. This is one of the major planks of the Digital India programme – which aims to take government services online and make the entire country digitally literate – but it does not seem to have enthused too many so far.

To popularise it further, the government on Wednesday integrated it with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to allow people to store a digital version of their driving licence and vehicle documents on the DigiLocker, sparing them the trouble of having to keep the hard copies on them at all times.
More than a year since its release, the platform has about 1.1 million people signed up as users, according to the official statistics on the DigiLocker website.

This might seem like an impressive number – but compare it to the country’s population of about 1.21 billion, or even its internet-using population of 350 million – and it becomes a drop in the ocean.


As this chart shows, only 0.09% of Indians are on DigiLocker – this is less than one user per 1,000 people in the country. DigiLocker is being used by 0.33% of the online population in the country, which implies that there are 33 users per 10,000 people on the internet from India.

Digital dreams
When it was launched by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, the government had envisaged a cloud-based and secure storage platform that would cover the entire population, make it easier to procure and access important documents – including mark sheets, degrees and tax papers – and reduce paperwork as well as save time.

“In effect Digital Locker will touch every citizen's life by bringing in lot of convenience and therefore fulfilling the government's vision of a citizen centric governance model of providing services at the door-step of citizens,” the government said in a press release when the locker reached one lakh users in the first 100 days of its launch.

While the official website claims that the number of users is now about 2.1 million, the state-wise figures add up to only 1.1 million people on the platform.

Among the states, Maharashtra has most DigiLocker users in absolute numbers (more than 1 lakh), while Arunachal, Nagaland and Mizoram have less than 1,000 users each.



When the population of each state is taken into account, however, the picture changes. When adjusted for population, a mere 0.7% Sikkim’s population uses the service – and this is the highest percentage among Indian states. Maharashtra, with the highest number of DigiLocker users, has a much lower percentage of those on the service – 0.12%. The national capital, meanwhile, has just 0.17% of its population on the service.

Lock up
Citizens can use DigiLocker to store up to 10 megabytes of personal documents online.
Since the 10MB storage isn’t enticing enough, considering that internet users can avail themselves of at least 1GB of storage for free through private services such as Google Drive or Dropbox, the government is trying to push usage by integrating several departments with the service and allowing users to access more documents in real time from anywhere.

Among those enrolled so far include the road transport ministry, Maharashtra’s department of registry and stamps and educational bodies such as the Central Board of Secondary Education, which is now trying to release mark sheets and results of competitive exams online.
Though the government hoped that these initiatives would increase its usage, technical glitches have prevented several people from using the service.



A student who gave her National Engineering Entrance Exam this year spoke to Scroll.in about why she didn't sign up for DigiLocker even though her results were released on the platform.

“They allowed us to access results instantly on the platform but it required a sign up using the Aadhaar number,” a student, said on the condition of anonymity. “I tried signing up thrice using my phone number but never received the one-time password and then my Aadhaar verification didn’t go through so I could never sign up.”

The service is linked to the government's biometric-based Aadhaar identification system, but it is not mandatory to have an Aadhaar number, according to the website.

Privacy concerns
Another reason why people are hesitant to sign up for the service are privacy concerns about storing important and private documents on a central repository.

“Any large linked database with personal information is a serious threat to citizen’s data,” G Nagarjuna, a researcher at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education in Mumbai told Scroll.in earlier. “There exists no agency that could secure their data till date without any possibilities of data theft.”

Experts said storing private information, such as biometric and passport data, on the service could pose security and privacy concerns.

Sunil Abraham, Executive Director of the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet and Society told Scroll.in over email that the project can have serious consequences if it is not encrypted well.

“Unless the cryptography and architecture is organised in such a manner that only the citizens will have access, there can be very serious consequences for the individual’s right to privacy,” he said.

Internal resistance
Those working for the project said the usage of the locker is going to go up if more government departments start issuing documents digitally to the locker, instead of handing over hard copies, as this will prompt users to sign up.



If the usage has to be increased, more departments need to come on board and start releasing documents digitally, said Debabrata Nayak, additional director of the National E-Governance Division, which implemented the project.
“It’s only when more departments start implementing digitisation and issuing digital documents that we will see a jump in the number of users because Digital Locker is pushed like that,” Nayak said, adding that National E-Governance Division is facing a fair bit of resistance from the departments.
“But not all departments are doing it yet because it requires a massive change in their work processes and we are trying to get them on board.”

Aadhaar woes
DigiLocker is designed as a push as well as pull service, which means that it should allow departments to issue as well as request documents from users. For this, users need to link their Aadhaar numbers to the locker. This is proving to be a problem, because most departments are not linking the documents they release to Aadhaar just yet, and not all users are registered with the unique identification system.

Moreover, the validity of Aadhaar is under question in the Supreme Court over privacy concerns voiced by the civil society.
An activist had moved the Supreme Court last year over the government making the Aadhaar number mandatory to sign up for DigiLocker. While the petition was quashed on procedural grounds, the government quickly moved to allow users to sign up without their Aadhaar numbers. However, the usability of the locker is restricted for such users.

Nayak said that non-Aadhaar-linked users can only upload their own documents on the system, without being able to use any other facility that DigiLocker claims to provide.

“Earlier Aadhaar was necessary but we changed it because people demanded access, but for most services, like getting government documents or requesting documents, it’s [Aadhaar] necessary,” he said. Nayak said this is because Aadhaar is the only way the government can identify the person who is being issued documents.

So what can one do without an Aadhaar on the DigiLocker?
“Without Aadhaar you can dump your garbage in it, which means you can upload your own files on the digital locker system,” Nayak said, “but why would you do that if you have Google Drive and Dropbox-like services?”

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