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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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

11021 - Mitigating corruption through the unique potential of Aadhaar - Asian Age

THE ASIAN AGE. | ARPINDER SINGH

Published : Apr 10, 2017, 4:16 am 

If implemented, this centralised repository of data could facilitate unravelling of suspicious transactions.

India has witnessed a host of initiatives to improve economic growth and boost investor confidence. Introduction of regulations and reforms such as demonetisation, income declaration scheme and increased enforcement were some measures undertaken to curb fraud, bribery and corruption.

According to the India findings of the recent EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India, Africa) Fraud Survey 2017, Human instinct or machine logic — which do you trust most in the fight against fraud and corruption? Fifty-two per cent of respondents said that regulatory activity has had a positive impact within their company and industry. This reinforces the government’s commitment to drive an ethical message when conducting business and emphasis on transparency and governance.

In 2009, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was launched which aimed to assign a unique number to all Indian residents, termed as ‘Aadhaar’. As per recent data released by the government, 99 per cent of adults in India already have Aadhaar. The ambit of Aadhaar has widened over time, making it mandatory for the application of LPG, kerosene, pensions and scholarships.

Recently, Aadhaar was also been made compulsory for opening new bank accounts, filing IT returns, PAN cards and other specified Central schemes. This move can potentially turbocharge the government’s intent to crack down on fraud and corruption in the country. Globally, countries such as United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Turkey and the US have been successful in implementing the use of a universal ID card or social security number in their regions. This may have also contributed to curbing graft and cases of fraud and identity thefts.

Aadhaar is expected to become mandatory for all identity-linked services provided to citizens. The use of biometrics to deduplicate records and then cross linking this unique card to other aspects of an individual’s transactions can be a game changer in weeding out the irregular transactions, thereby bringing down corruption levels.

Media reports have highlighted that many individuals were found with more than one PAN card in an attempt to evade taxes. In such situations, Aadhaar can prove beneficial to track the fraudster since biometrics cannot be duplicated.

Historically, Indians have been using multiple forms of identity proof such as passport, driver’s licence, voter’s card and others. Today, Aadhaar could be potentially linked to all such identity proofs, with further extension to other consumer touch points such as credit card payments, immigration records, e-wallets, purchase of high value assets, rent payments, flight or train tickets, high value payments… the list could be endless.
If implemented, this centralised repository of data could facilitate unravelling of suspicious transactions, identification of disparities between income earned versus money spent by individuals, and provide early warning signals around unaccounted or black money. This would perhaps bring a tectonic shift in identifying and tracing the flow of irregular or illicit funds at multiple touch points.

With the world moving toward a digital economy, there is a greater need to ramp up technology-led initiatives, move to a cashless way of doing business and at the same time, tackle rising fraud and graft. With Aadhaar as well as its enabled payment systems seeing a noteworthy spike in enrolment post demonetisation, this initiative is well poised to bring about a “cleaner” revolution in the economy. No disruptive initiative is devoid of challenges, and this too would see some in the short term but the potential to leverage Aadhaar in driving a positive business ecosphere is exponential.

(Arpinder Singh is Partner and National Leader, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, EY India)