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 23, 2016

10585 - Mop-up, protect special ops - Economc Times

November 10, 2016, 12:10 AM IST Economic Times in ET 
By Deep K Datta-Ray
As the US counts votes, Indians count notes thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dramatic decommissioning of banknotes.
Undoubtedly, this will inconvenience many. But the long-term beneficiaries will be all — including the poor majority. Demonetising 22 billion notes worth Rs 14,180 billion revolutionises the economy.
Doctors, lawyers and the construction industry must think anew. Property will have to be assessed differently. And, political parties must devise alternative funding.
It has long been an open secret as to how black money is generated and that it is stored anywhere but a bank.
People will now have to account for their cash if they want to convert or deposit it. The second target is Pakistan’s anti-Indian activities. Pakistan’s terror networks are lubricated by fake currency, the ISI pays for itself by selling counterfeit Indian rupees. And decommissioning stymies inflation arising from Pakistan, injecting tens of crores of counterfeit currency into India annually.
It is apt to recall that this momentous moment in our financial history arises from years of preparation under former PM Manmohan Singh. In taking his project forward, albeit in unexpected ways, Modi is to be commended.


It has long been an open secret as to how black money is generated and that it is stored anywhere but a bank.
Nevertheless, the shape of things to come is delineated by a framework already in place. And that is a triptych made of the 2012 White Paper on Black Money, the Swabhimaan Scheme that metamorphosed into the Jan Dhan Yojana programme and RuPay, and the National Identification Bill of 2010 that became the Aadhaar Act. Working on the assumption that black money was squirrelled away overseas, the White Paper focused on international means to tackle it.
Unfortunately, attempts to identify illegal wealth at multilateral organisations enjoyed a very modest success. Modi learnt the lesson, and shifted focus on cleaning up at home.
Meanwhile, Swabhimaan sought to expand the formal economy by enticing the bulk of Indians, who live in rural poverty, to open accounts and receive welfare payments direct. This project has been enhanced so that the poor, regardless of location, can make payments electronically using RuPay, or India’s alternative to Visa and Mastercard.
These advances are possible because the Aadhaar card verifies the identity of account holders. The purpose of legislation has, therefore, shifted from plugging leakages in welfare programmes, to an enthusiastic broadening of the formal economy.
Underlying all this is the war against undeclared taxable income. The timing of the announcement, which afforded people a few hours, was patently designed to ensure evaders will not be able to convert their ill-gotten cash into assets.
Moreover, legal holders of the now-defunct tender have nearly two months to change their money. Nor will there be a shortage of large notes, because the government will issue new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes. It is here that the government fell short.
The new notes will be paper when they ought to have been polymer. It employs much better antiforgery technology, such as Optical Variable Devices (OVDs). Though more expensive to manufacture, these notes (used in Australia, for instance) last much longer, thereby reducing the cost of money.
(The writer teaches at Jindal University, New Delhi)

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.