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, January 21, 2017

10740 - CEA wants real estate, electricity charges to be part of GST - The Hindu


DECEMBER 15, 2016 11:58 IST


Arvind Subramanian says the Indian economy, as far as macroeconomic condition is concerned, is very stable.
As the country comes to terms with the demonetisation of Rs. 1,000 and old Rs. 500 notes, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian spoke at an Assocham event on various issues.
Excerpts from his speech:

>> It's fair to say that the Indian economy, as far as macroeconomic condition is concerned, is very stable.

>> Both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) have come down. Current account deficit is very low and is being financed by Foreign Direct Investment. We have been reducing the fiscal deficit consistently.
>> From the domestic point of view, there are many legislative achievements in 2016. Aadhaar Bill is very important for the Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar, Mobile numbers (JAM) mission.
>> Legislation has been passed to institutionalise monetary policy.
>> The bankruptcy code is very important in enabling exit from operating in India. Entry has become very easy, but exit is still a problem.
>>GST constitutional amendment bill is the 'mother of all achievements'.
>>FDI policy has been liberalised considerably. FDI surged in Q2, which is a very encouraging sign.
>>Domestic challenges: how to manage demonetisation over the next weeks/months until remonetisation can be done fully.
>>Then there is the twin balance sheet problem of the corporates and the banks.
>>International challenges: US interest rate rising and dollar getting stronger. But I am less concerned about this since the Indian economy is still strong macroeconomically.
>>The other challenge is to keep an eye on the currency situation in South East Asian countries and in China.
>>Third international challenge is that if we need strong growth, then exports have to grow 15-20% every year. But the question is, can the advanced economies buy our exports? Can they handle service exports from us?
>>GST: We should aspire to simple, clean rates that are lower rather than higher. This will help in fight against black money.
>> Sale of land and real estate need to be part of GST. That way the input tax credits can enter the system. Stamp duty can be kept separate.
>>Need to bring electricity charges as part of GST.⁠⁠⁠
>>Manufacturing push: if China did manufacturing for 25 years, why can't we do services for 25 years?
>> Fed rate hike: it was anticipated and expected. The Indian economy is very well cushioned to handle it. The RBI took the possibility into account during its latest review.
>> Rising oil prices: don't focus on the ups and downs. When oil prices go up, nimble producers will also increase production. Don't think oil prices will surge to a level that the Indian economy can't handle.