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


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.


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Thursday, September 15, 2016

10436 - Legal backing to Aadhaar notified, NDA free to use it for government schemes - Live Mint

Last Modified: Wed, Sep 14 2016. 11 47 AM IST


Expectations are that with this, the ongoing legal challenge to Aadhaar pending in the Supreme Court will be restricted to the issue of privacy

Komal Gupta-Suranjana Roy-Apurva Viswanath

The government can now use Aadhaar to identify beneficiaries of social welfare schemes. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

The government has notified all but one of the remaining sections of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsides, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, giving legal backing for its use in various government schemes.

On 12 September, it had notified sections pertaining to the mandatory use of Aadhaar.

Expectations are that with this, the ongoing legal challenge to Aadhaar pending in the Supreme Court will be restricted to the issue of privacy. The Constitution bench is yet to be constituted, though the reference was made a year ago on 11 August.
The government’s top law officer, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, confirmed the notification of the legislation will override all concerns.

“The earlier challenge against mandatory use was against an executive notification that conceived Aadhaar. Now, the law takes care of all concerns surrounding potential misuse.”
Consequently, the government can now use the 12-digit unique identification number for identifying beneficiaries of social welfare schemes and disbursing subsidies.

All the provisions of the legislation have been formally notified, with the exception of the one dealing with salaries of employees of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the issuer of Aadhaar.

As of now, the use of Aadhaar is restricted by interim orders of the apex court 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.

Legal troubles have followed the legislation, with both the apex court and the Delhi high court hearing pleas against the government’s mandatory use of Aadhaar for schemes such as scholarships for students and food distribution. It will have to be seen if these cases will be resolved with the notifying of the Act.
S.L. Rao, a Bengaluru-based sociologist and former director general of the National Council for Applied Economic Research, said, “I think it is a good move if Aadhaar is being made compulsory, but people need to be assured about Aadhaar being an authentic form of identification, as biometrics can be misused.”

Another case, challenging the passage of the Aadhaar law as a money bill, is also pending in the apex court. A money bill does not need the consent of Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority.

In March, the government got the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill passed, after introducing it as a money bill. Earlier, UIDAI was backed by a 2009 notification of the now- defunct Planning Commission.

Last week, as part of provisions of the Act, the government appointed former information technology secretary 
J. Satyanarayana as part-time chairperson of UIDAI, and Rajesh Jain, founder and managing director of netCORE solutions, an IT-based firm, and Anand Deshpande, founder and chief executive officer of Persistent Systems, as part-time members.
As of now, the enrolment in the Aadhaar scheme has reached 1.05 billion.

Priyanka Mittal also contributed to the story.