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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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

10515 - When prayers are answered - The Statesman



A friend narrates the two sides of her extreme experiences to procure an Aadhaar card through a state government initiative. 

The first was unnerving and harrowing. The dates had been announced for her neighbourhood and the venue was the corporation office at the market premises. Anticipating the rush in applications, she had reached the venue much before the scheduled time. However, there were already a good 30 people ahead of her, who had probably jumped into the queue right after getting out of bed early in the morning! The room in which they had to wait lacked basic facilities: none of the lights and fans worked in the small closed area without a single window. It was a trial by itself to stand in the sweltering heat of a humid morning without any air circulation. Adding to the misery was the unbearable stench from a toilet which was further aggravated by the pungent odour from sacks of bleaching powder and piles of dustbins dumped in the corners and sides of the room. Do not the officials who organise such ‘camps’ realise the misery faced by those waiting in such inhuman conditions? 

To add insult to injury, an announcement was suddenly made that the machines for inputs were not functioning. “Kharap hoey geychey” was their comment. So, after waiting for hours, everyone was asked to leave since the actual work could not be done. The next morning, she gave it another try and reached the corporation office by 9 am along with her family. This time there were over 60 people ahead of her in the queue! She resigned herself to a long, long wait, hoping that in the end it would be worth it if the formalities could be completed for their Aadhaar Card. Alas, it was destined otherwise. 

The queue of people lengthened by the minute and was soon snaking its way down the road outside. After a very long wait someone from the corporation office made an announcement:Just 180 people would be given the forms. But there was a catch to it. Each form was to be filled by each family (some families have many members) which meant that all the people waiting would never manage to get a form. It was again a completely futile endeavour for her since she stood quite far back in the line.

Feeling utterly dejected she returned home, fuming about the inhumane method of working. Can’t the authorities organise such an exercise in a more methodical manner? They could hold it in a more conducive environment like a school or college classroom where basic facilities like lights and fans that function, with benches for the elderly to sit and wait, are available. More personnel could be deployed to contain the large growing crowd and ensure that the queue is maintained properly. 

Surely a little compassion and efficient handling of this project will ensure its success and not embitter so many disappointed and exasperated citizens. 

As if an answer to her prayers, to her delight that very evening she was informed that another camp was being held that weekend in the locality’s club, just a stone’s throw from her residence. She reached well on time with her family members and to her immense relief they were among the first to be registered. It was a spacious hall where all the fans and lights worked. Three computers were set up fast to facilitate the procedure. Three young men manned the machines quite professionally. Apparently this was conducted by a private computer agency (probably outsourced) and it was over in a matter of minutes. Their Aadhaar cards would be delivered a month later, they were informed.

Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/news/supplements/when-prayers-are-answered/168711.html#eTDuF0RI5G2OXcww.99