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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Saturday, April 8, 2017

10995 - Are the poor better off than in 2014? - National Herald


The condition of the poor only seem to have got worse, especially after demonetisation, with millions struggling to just survive 

Are the poor better off than in 2014?
On BJP’s Foundation Day on Thursday, the Prime Minister tweeted to say BJP would continue to work for the poor. But, are the poor really better off today than they were in 2014?

NH Web Desk

Apr 06th 2017, 08.22 PM

On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a number of messages on the foundation day of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which came into being on this day in 1980.

Guided by the Mantra of Antyodaya, our efforts to serve India especially the poor & the marginalised continue with great vigour.

But how does his Government fare? Here is a reality check.

Farmers’ suicide still high: NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) data indicates that farmer suicides have risen in the Modi regime by 42%. The Indian Express reported that 80% farmer-suicides are due to loans secured from banks, not moneylenders. According to the NCRB data in 2015 over 3,000 farmers committed suicide while in 2014 the number was put at 1,163.

Inflation: Inflation has remained high during the last three years and affected the poor/lower middle income group the hardest. A report published in The Economic Times said that price rise broke all records in 2016. Though it seems more stable this year, prices of essential commodities remain higher than in 2014. Pulses are still sold at around ₹100 while milk prices went up in January.

Rail fare increased: Rail fare has gone up both directly and indirectly. Within three months of assuming power, the Modi government had raised fares and freight rates. According to media reports, Railways had increased passenger fares by 14.3% and freight rates by 6.5% in June 2014. In September 2016 fares for premium trains such as Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi were also increased. The price of platform tickets too went up.

Subsidy on education decreased: Through a series of notifications and guidelines the number of research scholarships, fellowships etc have been reduced along with seats for MPhil and PhD programmes. In JNU alone, the intake for integrated MPhil and PhD courses have come down to 102 from 970 last year. The worst affected by the decision are the poor and the disadvantaged sections from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes etc.

Price of petroleum products remain high: While BJP was critical of high petroleum prices while it was in the opposition, in the last three years since it came to power at the Centre, petroleum prices have remained high despite relatively lower international price of crude. Crude oil was at $107 per barrel in May 2014, when the price of one litre of petrol was ₹71.41. Since then, the price of crude has gone down to $54.55 per litre in international market but in India a litre of petrol was still being sold at ₹70.60.

Demonetisation: Two and a half million industrial workers are estimated to have lost their jobs in the first 50 days of demonetisation that was announced on November 8, 2016. While workers in the unorganised and informal sectors were the worst hit, All India Manufacturers’ Organisation (AIMO) estimated a 35% cut in employment and 45% revenue loss till March 2017.

Funding to universities, colleges reduced: Known for its world class research in social sciences and quality education Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) faced massive fund cut by UGC. Strength of the faculty in Women's Studies, Centre for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy and Nodal Centre for Human Rights Education has been reduced. The worst affected again will be students from poorer families.

Promise on MSP (Minimum Support Price) not fulfilled: BJP had promised 50% extra over cost of production as Minimum Support Price (MSP). It was suggested by the Swaminathan Commission, which BJP included in its manifesto in 2014. But the promise is yet to be fulfilled.

Job creation at the lowest level: The Prime Minister had promised to create two crore new jobs every year but unemployment is now highest in the last five years.

MGNREGA hit by low funding and Aadhaar hurdle: The innovative rural employment guarantee scheme is facing fund cuts/ delay in payment in many states. With Aadhaar being made compulsory for availing benefits of the scheme, many of the poor face exclusion.