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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Thursday, September 15, 2016

10438 - No fingers? No monthly ration - Telegraph India


- Launched to curb graft, biometric device denies rice to leprosy patients
A.S.R.P. MUKESH

Murli Goswami (grey-haired, with white gamchha) along with other leprosy patients at Indiranagar in HEC area of Ranchi on Tuesday. Telegraph picture

Ranchi, Sept. 13: The Aadhaar-enabled public distribution system (PDS) launched in Ranchi on pilot basis threw up a tragic loophole today when around 50 leprosy patients turned up at their ward councillor's office, saying they had not received ration for the past three months as they lacked thumbs and fingers to verify their biometric identity.

The 50-odd leprosy patients, including women, told ward 43 councillor Chanda Devi their very survival was at stake. Every month, a ration-cum-Aadhaar cardholder is supposed to get 1kg salt, 2 litres of kerosene, 2kg of sugar, 3kg of rice and 2kg of wheat, all at heavily subsidised rates.

Among the 450-odd leprosy patients who live in Indiranagar, many have fingers and thumbs. But, those who lost them due to the debilitating disease are now blocked from getting PDS items despite having all valid documents.

Under the biometric ration system, Aadhaar cardholders punch thumb or fingerprints on point of sale (PoS) devices at PDS outlets to get their identity verified against the database uploaded in it to get ration.

Though the state food and civil supplies department wanted to curb corruption and exclude fake beneficiaries with this system, the plight of the leprosy patients points out how the state forgot practical challenges faced by the differently abled.

Councillor Devi said they had written to state food and civil supplies minister Saryu Roy about a month ago on this. "The department told us they were working on an alternative, but as of now, we're waiting," she said.

Devi's husband Krishna Kant Ram, the representative of Hatia MLA Naveen Jaiswal, said the problem surfaced three months ago. "It's ironical that all Indiranagar residents have ration and Aadhaar cards but many can't get ration now," he said.

On how fingerless leprosy patients got Aadhaar cards in the first place, Murli Goswami (55), one of the many afflicted, said: "They took my eye (iris) impression." His friend Raghunath Mahto, in the same quandary, said: "They scanned my eye to give me the card but now they say they need my fingers to give me rice."
As PoS devices don't have iris scan, Mahto's acute observation remains only that.

S.B. Mehra, special rationing officer of Ranchi district, said the food and civil supplies department suggested issuing ration via a one-time password on mobile phones as an alternative in these special cases. "For this, we will have to feed mobile numbers against beneficiary names in PoS machines. But, no final orders have come in this regard," Mehra said.

Does everyone have a cellphone? Mehra believes most do, irrespective of economic class. Among leprosy patients, some do but many don't.

Jean Drèze, architect of MGNREGA and social activist, said practical realities have derailed the biometric-enabled PDS system in poor pockets and in rural belts of Ranchi.

"The new system requires many fragile technologies to work at the same time: the PoS machine, the Internet, biometrics, remote servers and mobile network. Data groundwork (including Aadhaar seeding) must have been done correctly. Jharkhand faces huge connectivity problems even in the capital. No wonder, then, that many people are finding themselves deprived of PDS items they are entitled to," he said.

Drèze also recounted an anecdote.
"On August 26, I went to a PDS shop in Ratu block in Ranchi to get a first-hand report of glitches. I saw some households with no UID, biometric systems showing fingerprint recognition snags, machines coming up with error messages that neither the dealer nor the cardholder could understand, let alone fix. Connectivity problems and remote server failures are part of this larger issue," he said.