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.


Friday, April 21, 2017

11085 - Aadhaar row: Activists say workers under rural scheme will be denied jobs, govt denies - Hindustan Times


INDIA Updated: Apr 21, 2017 13:04 Ist


Samarth Bansal 
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Government says the March 31 deadline for Aadhaar enrolment has already been extended for another six months.(Sikander Singh Chopra/HT File Photo)

The government and activists are on a warpath over allegations that more than half of all workers under the rural jobs scheme will be denied employment because the deadline for Aadhaar enrolment has passed.

Activists say any denial of jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) violates orders of the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly said people cannot be denied entitlement

But the Centre has rubbished the claims, saying the March 31 deadline for Aadhaar enrolment has already been extended for another six months and just 16% of ‘active workers’ don’t have Aadhaar but will continue to get work as per demand.
The discrepancy in figures arise as activists looked at ‘all’ workers enrolled under MNREGA but the government considers the number of ‘active workers’ more significant, which comprise of individuals who have worked on any one day in either the current or last three financial years.

Latest official data show that just 119.2 million of the total 260.2 million MNREGA workers (46%) have submitted their Aadhaar number to authorities. As for active workers, 85.5 million of the 102.1 million workers (84%) have done so.
“On the ground, officials have been denying work for not having Aadhaar for two years,” said Annie Raja, general secretary of National Federation of Indian Women.

But Aparajita Sarangi, joint secretary in the ministry of rural development, told HT that the date for enrolment was extended to 30th September and “under no circumstances can workers be denied work for not having Aadhaar”.

She also countered the claims of denial of work. “If there are any such cases where MNREGA workers are denied work, bring it to our knowledge. We are not aware of any such instances.”
There are other sources of exclusion, activists said. Hindustan Times reported earlier this month that nearly 10 million job cards were struck off the rolls in a bid to plug loopholes. “This is likely to have deleted several willing people, thus denying citizens their entitlement of the right to work,” the press note issued by the activists said.

While the law says “job cards can be cancelled only if the household has migrated permanently to the urban areas or it is proved to be duplicate or fake job card”, ground reports from Jharkhand apparently show “other” and “unwilling” were the primary reasons stated for the scrapping of the document, which is a violation of ministry’s own guidelines, activists alleged.

Government officials say that job card cancellation plugged a major source of “fund leakage” but activists claim otherwise. Ankita Agarwal, an independent researcher based in Jharkhand, says a job card in itself didn’t guarantee money. “Unlike ration cards, individuals can’t avail benefits under MNREGA unless they participate in actual work,” she said. “Ration card need not be linked to a bank account to avail benefits, but job cards have to necessarily be linked to an account as money will come only into the accounts that makes it even more difficult to siphon of funds off these so-called ‘fake’ cards.”

Further, the government has neither disclosed the consolidated list of deleted job cards nor have the details of methodology for verification drive and reasons for terming the cards “fake” been made public, leaving no scope for independent verification, activists complain.