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.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

11111 - In Chhattisgarh, Insistence On Aadhaar Is Disrupting A Successful PDS System - NDTV


All India | Written by Kinshu Dang | Updated: April 23, 2017 07:55 IST

RAIPUR:  25-year-old Santoshi Sahu stood in the queue at a ration shop in Raipur for an hour to get her monthly ration. But finally when it was her turn, she was told she'll get ration for only four of the eight entitled family members. The ration shop in charge blamed the new software that recognises only four members of her family as beneficiaries.

Ms Sahu decided not take any ration and returned home empty handed. Santoshi said, "I refused to take ration because it won't be enough for my family.  Earlier, I paid Re 1 per kg for subsidised rice but now that I will get only half of what I am entitled to, I will have to buy rice from outside for at least 
Rs.25 per kg."

This extra expense will burden the family whose monthly earning isn't more than Rs.4,000. Ms Sahu has complained to the joint commissioner over 10 times. Every time she submits photocopies her families' Aadhaar cards, she's asked to wait for the cards to be seeded with the ration card. 

In October, the Chhattisgarh government introduced the 'Core PDS', an Aadhaar card authentication software that links the beneficiary's ration card with their Aadhaar card. Available at fair price shops across the state, the 'Core PDS' is expected to make the food grain subsidy programme more effective. However, reports of poor being denied ration, despite possessing Aadhaar card, contradicts its claims of efficiency.

Meena Chandel, a fair price shop in charge, said, "Before this new software was introduced, the number of beneficiaries enrolled at my ration shop was about 2,500-3,000, now it is down to 1,700."

In another part of Raipur, 53-year-old Mamata Gupta said the Aadhaar-ration card software doesn't recognise four out of five of her family. Since October, she has been getting only one fifth of what her family is entitled to. 

"I submitted the Aadhaar cards of all the members in my family, but the ration shop in charge told me the software doesn't recognise all of them as beneficiaries. I am entitled to 35 kg rice but we have been getting only 7 kg for the last five months. This is a scam," said Ms Gupta.

But the Chhattisgarh food department insists that no one is being denied ration and that there might be some "ghost" ration cards.

Richa Sharma, Food Secretary of Chhattisgarh, says, "If I am unable to link an Aadhaar number with the ration card because of technical issues, that is no reason to deny any beneficiary his entitlement. I suspect some people are using ghost ration cards."

As per the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data, between 2004-05 and 2011-12, Chhattisgarh had successfully plugged leaks in the food subsidy system by 82%. However, activists say that the government's insistence on Aadhaar could be the undoing of that success.

Sulakshana Nandi, who is part of the Right to Food Campaign in Chhattisgarh, said, "It is ironic that a system that was functioning well is collapsing because of this new software." 

According to the Chhattisgarh's food department, as of April 21, the Aadhaar cards of about 18 lakh people in the state weren't linked with their ration cards.

Reetika Khera, Associate Professor of Economics at IIT-Delhi, said the Aadhaar-PDS technology has brought vulnerability into a system that was working fine. "In this case, the software is actually breaking the system," she said. 

Pitched as a tool to reduce corruption and promote inclusion, Aadhaar is in fact leading to exclusion, by keeping the most vulnerable people away from their entitlements.

Two women interviewed in this story have submitted affidavits in the Supreme Court as part of a PIL against Aadhaar.