The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

10452 - Mandatory or not - Millennium Post

16 September 2016, New Delhi, Team MP

Recent reports indicate that the use of Aadhar card is set to become mandatory for all Central and state government subsidies and benefits that require funding from the central exchequer. Speaking to a leading national daily, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of the UID Authority of India, said that government agencies will have to ensure all beneficiaries are enrolled under UID. "Ministries will have to notify schemes for which Aadhaar number is required. 

In case someone does not have Aadhaar, he will be asked to enroll for the same. If you are asking for Aadhaar and if enrollment facilities are not in a convenient location, the agency has to ensure that people are not left in the lurch," Pandey said. 

In other words, the onus will now be on various government agencies to ensure that beneficiaries have Aadhar numbers to access benefits ranging from subsidies and pensions. As per the recent Aadhar Act passed earlier this year by Parliament, an Aadhar card has become a necessary document for the “receipt of certain subsidies, benefits, and services”, even though the Supreme Court ruled that it cannot be made mandatory. 

The court had restricted the use of Aadhaar to the transfer of cooking gas subsidy, the public distribution system, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), all types of pension schemes, the employees’ provident fund and the Jan Dhan Yojana. 

The mandatory provision for Aadhaar card should be waived until there is 100 percent coverage. Despite the Centre’s assurances, there are doubts whether government agencies, both at the Central and state level, possess the requisite incentive to ensure that no one is left out. Ground reports from rural India have noted how many beneficiaries have been denied key services entitled to them. “For instance, MGNREGA functionaries have cancelled job cards on a large scale for the sake of achieving '100 percent Aadhaar seeding’ of the job-card database,” says Jean Dreze, a reputed academic who conceptualised and drafted the first version of the rural jobs programme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). “MGNREGA workers have been offloaded by rural banks on Aadhaar-enabled ‘business correspondents’ who proved unable to pay them due to poor connectivity.” These workers were denied access to subsidies and benefits because they did not have an Aadhar card or poor internet service.

When the previous UPA government introduced Aadhar-based pilot projects across various districts to determine whether welfare services are delivered to the doorstep of the intended beneficiary, it ran into many problems. These include poor internet connectivity, bank technology up gradation, lack of data security, doubts over the integrity of banking correspondents deputed by the state government. Truth be told, these problems have not disappeared under the current NDA government. Even though this newspaper has been critical of the government’s Unique Identification System (UID), there is little doubt that if implemented with proper safeguards, the Aadhar Bill could become one of the most progressive pieces of socio-economic legislation in the country’s history. Votaries of the system often argue that the technology used could stem political and bureaucratic corruption in the delivery of social schemes through direct income transfers. Much of the excitement surrounding the Aadhar card has to do with these intended benefits. 

However, as argued above, key structural concerns remain, and the current system will only prevent specific types of leakages, such as those related to duplication in beneficiary lists. Poor states, where Centrally-sponsored schemes are most needed, are not adequately prepared to deal with the fundamental structural issues that stand in the way. Moreover, the UID Authority of India’s own Biometrics Standards Committee has noted that retaining biometric efficiency for a database “has not been adequately analysed”. 

According to UIDAI officials, approximately 82 percent of Indians have been enrolled, which besides adults also includes children, at the current rate of 6 lakh enrollments per day. This significantly reduces the possibility of exclusion on a large scale and makes seeding schemes with Aadhaar easier, officials said. Despite the government’s claims, there will be those who will be denied benefits for want of an Aadhar card. One can understand the government’s desire to make it mandatory. But it will go against the very interests of many citizens that it seeks to serve.