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.

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

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.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

10455 - Govt to link all ration cards to Aadhaar by end-FY17 - Business Standard


Fingerprint failure reports of existing Aadhaar-linked PDS cases not revealed
September 17, 2016 Last Updated at 00:23 IST



The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has decided to complete the linking the bank accounts to Aadhaar numbers of all the beneficiaries of large social schemes, including the National Food Security Act, by March 2017. Once done, the delivery of these schemes would be based on biometric authentication linked to Aadhaar or direct cash transfers to linked bank accounts of beneficiaries.

The directions came after a meeting held at the Prime Minister's Office in June this year to link not only cash-based benefits but also those in kind under different central schemes to Aadhaar. Since then, the Centre has repeatedly written to states to make the transition. Business Standard has reviewed the minutes of the meeting as well as the Centre's missives to states.



On Thursday, the government moved a step closer to making the use of Aadhaar mandatory. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) sent out a circular asking all government authorities in the Centre and states to identify schemes, benefits and processes where the Aadhaar platform would be made compulsory.

But, the results of deploying Aadhaar-based biometric authentication in the public distribution system (PDS) across a few states are yet to be made public by the central government, leaving states to divulge data, if they wish, in different formats. Some of these states have reported relatively high failure rates at times.

A B Pandey, chief executive officer of UIDAI, said the authority did not reveal the reports on how the biometric authentication was working although it collects these reports for each entity using the Aadhaar-linked authentication system.

The ministry for food did not reply to a detailed questionnaire asking for data on the efficacy of Aadhaar-based biometric authentication from states and districts where it has already been deployed in complete or in pilot study mode. Andhra Pradesh, one of the early movers, has put 28,000 ration shops on the Aadhaar platform. Pandey said it now showed 4-5 per cent failure rate.

Rajasthan is the other state that has put all its ration shops on the platform. Assessment done by MAZDOOR KISAN SHAKTI SANGATHAN showed that in the state less than 65 per cent of the people on average were availing rations through the biometric authentication. The data did not reveal how the rest had accessed their rations though the systems provide for a manual over-ride which remain as leak-prone as the earlier non-computerised system followed earlier of maintain registers.

Replying to an answer in the Parliament on the failure in Rajasthan, the state minister for finance, Arjun Ram Meghwal, had recently said UIDAI concluded the lack of infrastructure was to blame. This included insufficient lease-line capacity between servers of Rajasthan government and UIDAI Data Centres, poor mobile signal at fair price shops, incorrect seeding of Aadhaar numbers in PDS database and insufficient number of Iris devices to deal with the cases of poor finger print quality.

The UIDAI chief admitted in an interview to Business Standard that Andhra Pradesh had managed lower failure rates after a lot of effort and that states with worse infrastructure would find it more difficult, though he narrowed the list of such states down to northeast.

Last year the central government had given the states only two choices. Either they had to move on to the Aadhaar-linked authentication system for distribution of grains or turn the subsidised food supply to cash transfers. At that stage it had asked that states carry out pilots. Some like Jharkhand have. In Ranchi all the ration shops were put on the platform but less than 50 per cent of the people got their rations through biometric authentication in July 2016 (the month for which data was available for analysis), wrote economist Jean Dreze recently.

In its defence, the UIDAI CEO says protocols exist to manage when biometric authentication fails. A fall back option is deploying Iris reading machines, but these are only recommended and not made mandatory. Reverting back to manual override on the machines, which is also available, on the other hand brings the system back to pre-computerisation days. UIDAI says it is taking teams from other states to Andhra Pradesh to learn lessons.

The centre is holding a two day meeting of state officials on Friday and Saturday on computerisation of the public distribution system in which several sessions are dedicated to linking the provision of subsidised rations to the Aadhaar platform.

Directives on advancing Aadhaar-linked benefits


1-All central cash or kind benefit schemes to be brought under DBT by end of fiscal

2-Seeding of aadhaar in schemes like MNREGA, PDS, Scholarships, PMJDY, Pensions, EPFO to be completed by March 2017

3-Grants to state under ICDS, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Mid-Day Meal Scheme could be linked to Aadhaar enrolment

4-Enrolment of children in Anganwadi and schools to enhance coverage in this segment

5-Payment to para-teachers, ASHA and anganwadi workers to be made through Aadhaar

6-‘Give up Subsidy’ push to be extended to other schemes

7-Concessions in railways to be linked up

8-Aadhaar number of individuals and office bearers of entities to be obtained in Income Tax Returns

9-Study to assess cash in lieu of kind benefits under PDS to be undertaken

10-Automated system to disqualify beneficiaries when they get government jobs or reach cut-off income levels

Visualised by: Aditya Laxman Jakki