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

10457 - Aadhaar e-PoS leaving out beneficiaries, say activists; Rajasthan government disagrees - Indian Express

The Rajasthan government has said the state’s record has been exemplary in making the transition from the older ration card-based system to using Aadhaar.


Written by Mahim Pratap Singh | Jaipur | Updated: September 17, 2016 6:15 am

Villagers of Belatikri under Lalgargh PS queue at a ration shop for rice at Rs 2 per kg on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Partha Paul.Jhargram)

Food security activists and economists have expressed concern at the exclusion of thousands of PDS beneficiaries in Rajasthan owing to glitches in the Aadhaar enabled electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) device.

The Aadhaar enabled ePoS is dealing a double blow to the state’s public distribution system, leaving out beneficiaries owing to glitches in the ePoS machine, and not being able to check “quantity fraud”, activists maintain.

The Rajasthan government, however, has said the state’s record has been exemplary in making the transition from the older ration card-based system to the one based on biometric identification using Aadhaar.

Interestingly, Subodh Agarwal, Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies) cited Rajasthan’s Aadhaar ePoS experiment as a “best practice” at a meeting in New Delhi on Friday. 

“Rajasthan’s experience has been exemplary due to the speed at which we have done Aadhaar seeding, National Food Security Act sanitisation as well as ePoS installations,” he told The Indian Express.

In a letter to Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, activists and economists, including Jean Drèze, Reetika Khera, Nikhil Dey and Anjali Bharadwaj, have sought to draw the government’s attention to the “danger of inappropriate technologies” for PDS in states like Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
According to data obtained from Rajasthan government’s official portal, only 64 per cent beneficiaries were getting their ration through the Aadhaar enabled ePoS system in August.

The remaining 36 per cent are vulnerable to exclusion owing to glitches in the machines, allege activists.

While the number of beneficiaries has seen an increase — from 44.6 per cent in May to 64 per cent in August — activists say the numbers still present a bleak picture.

“A 62 per cent ‘success’ rate (July) is disastrous. In rural areas at least, hardly anyone foregoes their rations. We don’t know what is happening to the remaining 38 per cent. There is no clarity about a ‘manual override’ facility, that is if the machine fails you, the dealer can revert to old-style register-based sales. In any case, dealers have no incentive to tell people about. Are the 38 per cent aware of the manual override facility, or are they being cheated?” said economist Reetika Khera.

“The new technology has possibly dealt a double blow – quantity theft continues as before; plus for 38 per cent, they may get it if they know about the possibility of register based sales, or not at all if they are unaware of this option,” she said.
However, the state government says the system cannot result in exclusion. “We are not saying that ePoS machines cover 100 per cent beneficiaries. But those who can’t get their ration from ePoS due to some technical glitches, can always get it from the manual system,” Subodh Agarwal, Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies), told The Indian Express. “And the system is slowly picking up. If we have reached over 62 per cent from 44 per cent in May, then that is an achievement,” he said.

Aas Mohammad, a Fair Price Shop operator in Tijara, Alwar, said all sales at his shop were being made using ePoS machines. “If the machine fails to identify them, they have to come again. We have stopped selling through registers,” he said.