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

10469 - Concerns on Aadhaar before Supreme Court have been addressed: Ravi Shankar Prasad - Economic Times

By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau | Sep 21, 2016, 08.06 AM IST


Prasad also said the government was “very conscious” to follow SC orders regarding only schemes prescribed by SC for Aadhaar using it.

NEW DELHI: The government has addressed the concerns raised before the Supreme Court regarding Aadhaar and those who wish to take subsidies will need a unique identification number, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said. "Most of the concerns raised in the pending litigation before SC have been addressed or sought to be addressed," Prasad told ET in an interview on Tuesday even as a clutch of petitions on Aadhaar are coming up for hearing before the Supreme Court soon. 

"What is the argument in SC? One, that Aadhaar is there but there is no statutory backing; now, an Act is in place. Two, no guidelines are there... now, guidelines are there in the Act and the recently notified regulations. Three, secrecy has not been taken care of; the same has happened now," Prasad said. The top court had last year ruled that Aadhaar will only be voluntary. Prasad said the 'mandatory vs voluntary' debate is "meaningless" since an Act was now in place, and one may need Aadhaar to avail government subsidy

"The scheme is that you must have an Aadhaar. If you don't have an Aadhaar, go for Aadhaar. You are being encouraged to take an Aadhaar only if you want to take a benefit of subsidy. Otherwise don't take it. Because subsidy — whether paid by the Centre or the state government — has to have flow from the Consolidated Fund of India," he said. "This condition (of Aadhaar) is only and only imposed on those who want subsidy or a service or benefit going from Consolidated Fund of India." 

Prasad also said the government was "very conscious" to follow SC orders regarding only schemes prescribed by SC for Aadhaar using it. 

He stressed that there will be "no denial (of service) per se" and a provision is there to provide it by an alternate identity mechanism if a person does not have Aadhaar. "You are being encouraged to get an Aadhaar but delivery will not be stopped." 

Asked if that alternate mechanism was only an interim measure till the person gets Aadhaar, he said: "Obviously...there have to be certain pre-conditions or not?" The minister said there is a statutory segregation for good governance in subsidies flowing from the consolidated fund, and that agencies handling subsidies will help people get Aadhaar. 

Taking the example of a person buying ration on a ration card, he said, "Under the regulations, to make life easier, the person may not have to run from pillar to post for Aadhaar. The agency requiring Aadhaar will itself become a registrar." 

But in case the person does not wish to use Aadhaar to get rations, "then don't take ration on the ration card, go to the market", Prasad said. 

Asked about companies like Apple and Google not warming up to government's suggestion to various telecom companies of making their mobiles Aadhaar-enabled, Prasad said many companies who "don't like it now may re-think" in future. "The huge Indian market is available. Utility of Aadhaar is proven...If you feel happy, come," Prasad said. 

He said Aadhaar is "ideology neutral, politics neutral and only good governance positive". The utility which the Centre had shown of Aadhaar was "winning us friends every day" in form of various states because of savings. "Close to `36,000 crore have been saved by only a limited application of Aadhaar. It is a huge amount," Prasad said. 


He said the privacy aspect of Aadhaar addressed in the Act was at par with principles of phone tapping approved by SC. "Any abuse of data beyond the boundaries of this act shall not be tolerated," Prasad said.