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.

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

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.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

10636 - EPFO to seed Aadhaar in 81 million PF accounts by 31 December - Live Mint

Last Modified: Tue, Nov 29 2016. 05 07 AM IST


The labour ministry has directed the EPFO to finish Aadhaar seeding on all EPF accounts in a time-bound manner

EPFO, which functions under the labour ministry, has written to all it’s over 120 regional offices to make sure that the Aadhaar seeding happens on time. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will mandatorily seed all 81 million provident fund (PF) accounts with Aadhaar by 31 December to make its online transactions smoother and help track an employee if he/she switches jobs.
The move comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the functioning of EPFO sometime ago and asked it to become more user-friendly and make its online interface more robust.
Though a Herculean task, the labour ministry has directed the EPFO to finish Aadhaar seeding on all EPF accounts in a time-bound manner.
EPFO, which functions under the labour ministry, has written to all it’s over 120 regional offices to make sure that the Aadhaar seeding happens on time.
Mint has seen a copy of the internal circular issued by the EPFO headquarters to its regional offices.
“It is noted that under the implemented universal account number (UAN) programme, the seeding of Aadhaar number in the UAN database of EPF members is very low. It needs to be emphasized that to identify the member across different employments, the UAN database of members has to be seeded with KYC (know your customer) details,” the circular said.
“At PRAGATI meeting ...it was pointed that seeding of Aadhaar number in the UAN database of EPF members is very low …subsequently the ministry of labour and employment has set the timeline to ensure 100% Aadhaar seeding in beneficiary database by 31/12/2016,” the circular added.
Pragati meeting is a brainchild of PM Modi to directly oversee the progress of different departments and interact with top bureaucrats to get an update on specific project implementation. UAN is a permanent number issued by EPFO to all EPF subscribers that help PF number portability. Like a bank account it makes EPF accounts permanent and employees are free to retain the account number throughout their work life.
As of 26 November, EPFO has issued 81.13 million UANs to organized sector employees via their employers but only 19.67 million Aadhaar numbers were uploaded by employers. Of the total Aadhaar uploaded only 16 million are KYC compliant, meaning the employers have verified these Aadhaar numbers of their employees who are contributing to EPF every month.
“Aadhaar is an important KYC for UAN but somehow companies have not come forward to upload this on the UAN database. This is clearly a case of employers’ apathy and what the EPFO is trying now is to rectify this so that its online transactions become smoother,” said a labour ministry official who declined to be named.
The officer said besides improving its users interface, it shall help identify an employee across his or her different employments and ease service delivery like payment of pension, reduction in withdrawal process hassles, and other such benefits.
“We have less than 2 crore Aadhaar numbers uploaded of the total 8.1 crore UANs issued. Companies over the next one month have to come forward and upload the Aadhaar number of their employees and approve them online. The 31 December deadline is tough task but we have pressed all our offices for the job,” said official.
“While people blame EPFO for bad or late service, they forget that companies often don’t do what is required of them. If a company cannot upload the KYC details like Aadhaar number, PAN and bank account details of their employees on EPFO website who is to be blamed and how do you expect EPFO to provide service. Can you do for buying an insurance or mutual fund…if you are prompt there why not in case of EPF accounts,” the official asked.
And it’s not an inaccurate complaint. Of the total 81 million UANs issued to EPF subscribers, employers have uploaded just 38.47 million bank accounts. It means more than 50% of the EPF subscribers accounts do not have a bank account linked increasing fear that whether an employee can get access to his retirement savings when he or she needs most without running after the employer.
EPFO manages over Rs8.5 trillion retirement corpus of its subscribers. It invests 90% in debt and 10% in equity instruments and gives return based on its investment returns. In 2015-16, it gave 8.8% interest rate to its subscribers. For 2016-17, it is yet to announce the rate of interest.