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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Friday, December 9, 2016

10572 - Govt food subsidy bill likely to hit Rs 1.4 lakh cr this fiscal - Financial Express


With all the 36 states and Union territories rolling out the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the government’s food subsidy budget for the current financial year is likely to increase to R1.4 lakh crore from the Budget allocation of R1.32 lakh crore.

By: FE Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: November 4, 2016 7:32 
At present around 80 crore people are covered under the food security legislation against a total intended coverage of 81.34 crore people. (PTI)

With all the 36 states and Union territories rolling out the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the government’s food subsidy budget for the current financial year is likely to increase to Rs 1.4 lakh crore from the Budget allocation of Rs 1.32 lakh crore.
According to food minister Ram Vilas Paswan, at present around 80 crore people are covered under the food security legislation against a total intended coverage of 81.34 crore people.
“When we came to power, the food law was being implemented partially in only 11 states. Although as per the act, the roll-out would have begun within one year of passage of NFSA in July 2013, many states took more time for preparing beneficiaries lists thus leading to delays,” Paswan said on Thursday. At the current coverage, he said that the monthly allocation of foodgrains to states/UTs under NFSA would be around 4.5 million tonne.
During the last one year, Kerala and Tamil Nadu had been seeking more time to implement the food security legislation, as these two states wanted to complete end-to-end computerisation of their Public Distribution System and the seeding of the Aadhaar numbers of the beneficiaries.
Recently, the food ministry also informed those states that the Centre would supply foodgrains to them at minimum support price (MSP)-derived prices for the above poverty line (APL) categories instead of NFSA-prescribed prices of Rs 3, Rs 2 and Rs 1 per kg for rice, wheat and coarse grains, respectively. The NFSA guarantees a monthly entitlement 5 kg of grain per person.
It implies that these states would have had to pay Rs 22.54 a kg for rice for their monthly allocations under the APL category, as against the Rs 8.30 a kg that they are paying now. For Tamil Nadu, it would have have resulted in an additional expenditure of Rs 2,730 crore. The state is also incurring an expenditure of Rs 2,393 crore annually on its universal PDS.
According to a Tamil Nadu government official, the southern state has started to implement the act from November 1 and would also continue with the universal PDS. While its monthly offtake of rice under the earlier Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), including the Antyodaya Anna Yojana, was about 3.23 lakh tonne, the Centre would continue to provide similar quantity as per NFSA requirements.
Following the NFSA roll-out, Paswan stated that the food ministry would continue to focus on PDS reforms. He stated that 71% out of around 24 crore ration cards have been seeded with the Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries. This has resulted in the deletion of about 2.62 crore ration cards across states.
As part of PDS reforms, fair price shops are being automated for the distribution of foodgrains through an electronic point of sale (e-PoS) device that authenticates beneficiaries at the time of distribution and also electronically captures the quantity supplied.

As reported by FE earlier, of 5 lakh odd fair price shops in the country, 1.6 lakh have been equipped with e-PoS machines.