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


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


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.

Friday, September 30, 2016

10477 - Ensure Aadhaar numbers for all students: State govt. to schools - The Hindu

MUMBAI, September 23, 2016

The Maharashtra government has asked all schools, including private ones, to ensure that all their students have Aadhaar numbers before September 30. Schools will also have to upload student data including their Aadhaar numbers on the education department’s school portal.
Prakash Charate, Deputy Education Officer (Private Primary Aided Schools), BMC said, “All schools, both government and private, unaided or aided, have an online portal on which they are required to provide information about the number of teachers and students they have, with their Aadhaar numbers. This will help us collate information on schools and take decisions accordingly. This is being carried out across the State.”
He added: “Aadhaar is a crucial link for tracking a child’s education. At times, the students just disappear from the educational radar, which is then used to blame us for falling educational standards. Using the Aadhaar number, we will be able to track and determine if such children are studying in other schools or have migrated to other cities. We have enrolled most children in Mumbai schools.” Under the Right To Education Act, 2009, the State government is obliged to ensure that all children aged six to 14 are enrolled in schools.
Mr. Charate said such details assume importance now because they become a determining factor in taking important decisions like sanctioning teachers for a school. “Earlier, teachers would be sanctioned as per the number of class divisions; now, this depends on the number of students.”
Dr. Dolly Henry, principal, Vani Vidyalaya School and Junior College, said: “As we are an aided school, we have already made it compulsory for students to have Aadhaar numbers. This is necessary while applying for scholarships and other schemes.”
Jayanti Livingstone, teacher in-charge of Jari Mari Tamil municipal school, said the school has been uploading details of teachers and students on the government portal Saral. “Aadhaar becomes necessary here. If a child does not have Aadhaar, we ask them to enrol and show us the enrolment slip, which we enter in the portal.”
The government has also made it mandatory for all school leaving certificates from institutions in Maharashtra, irrespective of their board affiliations, to bear Aadhaar numbers. A basic standard format has been circulated for school leaving certificates. Schools have also been asked to reprint certificates if they are not in the standard format. Officials said this is expected to tackle issues faced by migrating students.

Schools have already been told to upload information on students eligible for scholarships under various schemes, and to ensure that such students have Aadhaar numbers linked to a bank account. Rural schools have been instructed to organise an enrolment camp on campus if they find a high number of students without Aadhaar numbers, or organise for enrolment at the nearest Aadhaar centre.
The writer is a freelance journalist

Schools have already been told to upload information on students eligible

for scholarships