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.


Monday, April 3, 2017

10934 - Aadhaar: How people are caught in the middle of unique number web - Hindustan Times


INDIA Updated: Mar 28, 2017 14:46 Ist


Sarika Malhotra 
Hindustan Times

Sunita and Prem Kumar Upadhyay are struggling to get their full ration entitlement, as names of their 4 minor children could not be enrolled for Aadhaar. (Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

In Jagdamba Camp, a south Delhi slum, Sunita and Prem Kumar Upadhyay are caught in an Aadhaar bind, curtailing their family’s ration entitlement.
The family of six is getting provisions under the public distribution system (PDS) only for two as names of their minor children could not be enlisted in the ration card in the absence of their Aadhaar cards, the all important document to get benefits of the government schemes.
The Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data collected and maintained by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).


Explaining his predicament, Kumar says officials responsible for the Aadhaar enrolment at the time did not register children below 12 years, saying it was not “feasible”.
Now that all the four children have finally got their Aadhaar cards, the window to enlist their names in the ration card has closed.
As a result, Kumar, who owns a bag repairing shop, is now forced to buy provisions from the open market to meet the shortfall. His family has a priority card which entitles them 5kg ration (4kg wheat at Rs2 per Kg and 1kg rice at Rs 3 per Kg) per person listed on the card.
Sunita and Kumar are not the only ones in the Sheikh Sarai slum, to be deprived of their rights, though with more than a billion enrolments, the government is tomtoming the success of the Aadhaar project.
Only a few days ago, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the minister in charge of the UIDAI claimed linking of the Aadhaar with ration distribution has brought about more transparency and saved public money to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore.
The government is now making the linking of permanent account numbers (PAN) to Aadhaar mandatory ignoring the controversy over the project since the inception of UIDAI in 2009.
The Aadhaar has been challenged in the Supreme Court on several grounds, including national security, violating right to privacy, excluding some people from benefits of welfare programmes.
Since 2013, the top court has issued seven interim orders, directing voluntary use of Aadhaar and that no one should be denied benefits to which they are otherwise entitled, if they do not have the 12 digit number.
Notwithstanding such riders, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 came into force on September 12 last year.
The Act makes Aadhaar mandatory to get subsidies, benefits and services provided by the State.
The government has expanded its scope to even filing of Income Tax returns.
However, activists affirm that making Aadhaar mandatory is unconstitutional and a complete disregard of the Supreme Court’s orders.
Reetika Khera, associate professor of Economics in IIT Delhi, accused the government of creating false impression that the SC orders have become redundant following the enactment of the Aadhaar Act.
“The most common trick used by the government to get around the court’s order is to state that those who do not have Aadhaar can continue to get their entitlements if they enrol for it and that the government will facilitate this.”
This is sugar-coating on a bitter pill, says Khera. “You just stop getting your entitlements – until you enrol for it. This is the reality of it, though the government vehemently denies it.”
The civil society has been alleging government is maintaining a double-standard on the issue.
“Though enrolment for Aadhaar is voluntary, you have to compulsorily enroll for it if you want any entitlements from the state,” pointed out Anjali Bhardwaj of Satark Nagrik Sangathan.
Some even say the identification number is a tool for the government to keep a tab on the residents.
Nandan Nilekani, the first chief of UIDAI, however, dismissed all concerns about Aadhaar-linked state surveillance: “Surveillance is the last thing on the government’s agenda. The mobile phone is a bigger tool of surveillance than Aadhaar.”
Ajay Bhushan Pandey, chief executive officer at UIDAI, said: “The Act ensures that no one is denied of any benefits for the want of the Aadhaar. It is required only for ensuring that the benefits reach the right individuals.”
Since 2012, the UIDAI has done 500 crore authentications, 100 crore eKYC transactions, 32 crore Aadhaar enabled payment system transactions, and not a single case of identity theft or financial loss has been reported over a period of five years, he claimed.
With ever increasing last-mile glitches, connectivity and network issues, machine malfunctioning, there is a growing criticism that in a bid to weed out the fakes, the government is depriving many deserving people of their entitlements.

Read more
  • Can’t make Aadhaar a must to avail of benefits, welfare schemes: Supreme Court


  • Activists protest against Aadhaar use, will challenge finance bill in court


  • For the anomalies, the UIDAI officials pass the buck to concerned departments that implement the welfare schemes.
    The Aadhaar only helps various agencies and departments to identify a person, said a UIDAI official, adding if anyone is denied of his or her entitlement due to non-availability of the unique number, it is only because concerned officials are not properly following the law or the notification.
    “There are more than 30,000 common service centres where people can update their existing details. They can also send details by post or email. There is a special provision to enrol a child below five years by linking his/her details at the enrolment centres or the Aadhaar ID of the parent,” he pointed out.
    But those opposing the Aadhaar are not convinced. They argue technology is vulnerable to failures and is not a panacea for curbing corruption.
    “Imagine if you had to board a flight or withdraw cash and your Aadhaar-based biometric authentication, mandatory for the transaction, fails, and you are requested to go re-enroll and wait for records to be updated,” Khera said.
    Bhardwaj maintained that corruption could take place even in the welfare schemes that are based on Aadhaar authentication such as PDS.
    “After the authentication, the ration shop owners can give less provisions than what is entitled, citing lack of availability or supply. In such a scenario, what can the beneficiaries do? There is no redressal mechanism in place. How will the thumb authentication ensure that the ration shop is not depriving the beneficiary?” she asked.
    Amid these claims and counterclaims, the reality perhaps lies somewhere in between.
    “The Aadhaar will solve only a part of the problem. It cannot be a one stop solution for all ails,” said a senior UIDAI official.
    Read about the people entangled in the Aadhaar web of confusion:
    IDENTITY CRISIS: Sabra Khatoon Ansari, Jagdamba Camp

    Sabra Khatoon Ansari holds up her Aadhaar card which erroneously mentions her sex as ‘male’. (Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
    Nine-year-old Sabra Khatoon’s sex on the Aadhaar Card is mentioned as ‘Male’. Due to the anomaly, she is facing severe identity problems to get benefits of various government welfare schemes such as Laadli and EWS medical card.
    Her father MD Salam attributes the error to “chaos” at the Aadhaar enrolment centre where his daughter got her biometric data registered in 2014. He says several attempts by him to rectify the mistake went in vain.
    MISSING LAADLI: Mahi, Motilal Nehru Camp, Near JNU

    Saroj and Prem Kumar Kanojia with their daughter Mahi, who could not be enrolled for the Laadli scheme. (Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
    Mahi, born to Saroj and Prem Kumar Kanojia on August 4, 2016 could not be enrolled for the Laadli scheme as she did not have an Aadhaar card.
    They said despite several visits to Aadhaar centre to get the all-important card for their daughter did not yield any result. They were sent back on the ground that the child is too young for the registration.

    SCHOLARSHIP WOES: Swayam Gupta, Motilal Nehru Camp, Near JNU

    Swayam Gupta , with his mother Geeta. Swayam has lost out on a school scholarship because his name is misspelt on his Aadhaar card. (Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
    The Syndicate Bank passbook of Swayam Gupta shows an entry of Rs 1200 on 24/11/2016 in his account. However, he cannot withdraw the money as his name in the Aadhaar card has been erroneously spelled as Shivam.
    His mother Geeta was told by bank officials that her son will not be able to take out the money credited in his account to purchase books and uniforms due to the mismatch. Swayam studies in Class 4 in the government school at Sector 3, R K Puram.
    “Kaagzon pe sarkar chaltee hai (government depends only on paper),” says Geeta Gupta, lamenting that just because of a clerical error her son is not getting his school scholarship.
    PENSION PAIN: Rukampal, Jagdamba Camp, Malviya Nagar

    Rukampal, who runs an ironing stall, cannot claim his pension because of an error in his year of birth on his Aadhaar card. (Arun Sharma/HT PHOTO)
    Rukampal is not getting his monthly old-age pension because his age mentioned on the Aadhaar Card is less than the pensionable age.
    As per the voter ID card, Rukampal’s age as on 1/1/2013 is 67 years, whereas his Aadhaar Card issued on 8/3/2012 mentions his year of birth as 1957, that makes him 55-year-old at the time of the enrolment.
    To correct the mistake, Rukampal says he even paid Rs 300 to a local agent, who works at the Aadhaar enrolment centre to make a new Aadhaar card. Nothing came out of it.
    After the Delhi government revised the old age and disability pensions, senior citizens in the age group of 60-69 years are now entitled to get Rs 2,000 monthly, while those above 70 years get Rs 2,500 per month.
    “Iss burdape mein bhee koi sahayta nahee (there is no respite even in this old age),” he said.