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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Sunday, March 19, 2017

10903 - Executive violating SC orders at will Nantoo Banerjee - Millenium Post

15 March 2017 2:56 AM |  New Delhi



The Supreme Court has time and again reminded the government that the use of Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory. But, to the surprise and chagrin of state governments and the common man, especially the poor and the needy, the BJP-led Union government seems to be sparing no opportunity to link more and more centrally sponsored schemes with Aadhaar to the utter disregard of the apex court orders. The latest notification making Aadhaar mandatory for small students up to VIII standard, covered under the mid-day meal programme, by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has come under fire from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. In Delhi, both Trinamool Congress and Congress MPs have sent notices to the Rajya Sabha chairman demanding a debate on the issue. Mamata Banerjee called the Centre's decision "inhuman". Vijayan termed it as "absurd." Last week, following Mamata Banerjee's nationwide call to protest against making Aadhaar mandatory for mid-day meals, the Centre issued a statement saying "in case of Mid-Day Meal scheme and the Integrated Child Development Scheme, the schools and Anganwadis have been asked to collect the Aadhaar number of the children beneficiaries and in case a child does not have Aadhaar, the school or ICDS functionary will be required to provide enrollment facilities to a child and till Aadhaar number is assigned, the benefits will continue". Thus, the Centre did not entirely withdraw its earlier notification. It merely allowed the scheme to continue until other children are assigned an Aadhaar number. Aadhaar linkage has been made mandatory to avail of benefits under some three dozen central schemes, including  Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. Aadhaar will soon be made mandatory for all 84 schemes covered so far under direct subsidy benefit transfer programme. From subsidised kerosene oil for the poor to crop insurance by farmers and concessional rail fares for senior citizens,  all are being mandatorily brought under Aadhaar. Worse still, the government is insisting that those entitled to concessions pay at full rates for the subsidised products and services before getting the subsidised amount reimbursed in their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts.  Apparently, this is to let such poor consumers know exactly how much financial help they are receiving from the centre. Such an act appears to be a height of arrogance on the part of the Centre, treating the recipients of subsidies as a bunch of beggars. This also totally disregards a common sense explanation that the subsidies are given to the needy and weaker sections as a state policy because these people can't financially afford to procure those essential products or facilities at their listed market rates.  The government does not pay for subsidies and concessions from its pocket. Taxpayers, direct and indirect, pay for it. They include almost every citizen, including the poor and incapacitated, since nearly all consumers come under the indirect tax net. The payment of subsidies on account of food under the public distribution system, fertilisers and seeds, jobs for the  unemployed in rural areas for a minimum number of days, kerosene and limited number of household cooking gas cylinders, financial inclusion under Jan Dhan Yojana etc. does not absolve the democratic government of its duty to ensure a minimum living standard for the needy and poor, whose votes elevate political 'netas' to power. If the nation's economically deprived have been the ultimate source of power for all political parties, they deserve a better treatment from their governments. They include almost every citizen, including the poor and incapacitated, since nearly all consumers come under the indirect tax net. The payment of subsidies on account of food under the public distribution system, fertilisers and seeds, jobs for the  unemployed in rural areas for a minimum number of days, kerosene and limited number of household cooking gas cylinders, financial inclusion under Jan Dhan Yojana etc. does not absolve the democratic government of its duty to ensure a minimum living standard for the needy and poor, whose votes elevate political 'netas' to power. If the nation's economically deprived have been the ultimate source of power for all political parties, they deserve a better treatment from their governments. Only last year, a Constitution Bench led by former Chief Justice H L Dattu, clarified that linking of Aadhaar for providing such services as MGNREGA, Jan Dhan Yojana, pension and provident fund schemes may be allowed by the government, but they will only be on a voluntary basis, and no person shall be deprived of any benefit for want of Aadhaar.  The Supreme Court had earlier restricted its use to the public distribution system and LPG subsidy.  The apex court also reminded the Central government that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for any services. The court ordered the government to remove a condition making it compulsory for the students to give their Aadhaar numbers for various scholarship schemes. A bench led by Justice V Gopala Gowda recalled an order of the top court in October 2015 whereby it was clarified that "the Aadhaar Card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other". But, a letter sent by the Central government to chief secretaries and administrators of all states and union territories declared that only online application under the National Scholarship Scheme would be accepted and "it may be noted that submission of Aadhaar is mandatory." Appearing for All Bengal Minority Students Council, senior lawyer Gopal Jain had said that this communication was in contempt of the interim order passed by a Constitution Bench, which repeatedly said that Aadhaar could not be made mandatory and nobody could be denied access to any service for want of it. The bench accepted his submission and stayed the operation and implementation of Centre's communication for Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme to the extent they made submission of Aadhaar mandatory. "We direct the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India to remove Aadhaar number as a mandatory condition for students' registration form at the National Scholarship Portal…" the court said in its order. The court also sought an explanation from the Centre for including such a condition despite the five-judge bench's restraint against making Aadhaar compulsory. The court also sought an explanation from the Centre for including such a condition despite the five-judge bench's restraint against making Aadhaar compulsory. The government's seemingly arrogant and unreasonable diktats on making Aadhaar mandatory for all Centrally-aided and sponsored schemes, without any legal sanction, provision, or approval, and challenging the Supreme Court and even its most powerful Constitution Bench orders are being interpreted as a contempt of court by many. Our Constitutional system does not allow the executive to overrule Parliament and the judiciary which are independent of each other. The government is acutely aware of that. One only expects that better sense will prevail.