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 28, 2017

11149 - Aadhaar For Livestock: No Laughing Matter This - Swarajya



- Apr 26, 2017, 12:48 pm


SNAPSHOT

Most countries of the developed world, and some of even the developing, have a unique identification system for cattle.
But sure, let’s laugh it off in India and turn away from better cattle management.


The old media and the social media alike are up in arms since news broke out that the government is fiddling with the idea of giving each cow a unique ID like Aadhaar. This was what Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar on 24 April.

The proposal was recommended by a committee last year. It suggested that cattle should be tagged with polyurethane IDs carrying details of their age, breed, sex, body colour, horn type and milk yielding status.

While the secular-liberal outrage brigade (SLOBs) may smirk or poke fun at all this fuss over a cow, the reality is that livestock wearables are the future and a unique identification number for cows is a great step forward.

While this concept is new to India (hence the smirky response from the utterly ignorant chatterati), this is a fairly common practice in developed countries. Even poor countries like Kenya are now enthusiastically implementing it. Officially called as Livestock Identification and Traceability System (Lits), Kenya has started the programme to keep track of cattle. Dr Joseph Mugachia explains, “It assigns each cow a unique identification number that the animal carries through its whole life.... When a cow changes hands, the identity remains but ownership is transferred, just like in a car log book.” This means that every change in the ownership of the cow (or its progeny) will have a paper trail.
How is it beneficial? Because there would be a proper track record of the ownership of the cow, any owner would not dare let cows roam on streets after their udders run dry because they can be easily tracked and made accountable. For this, of course, some form of electronic tagging would be needed (for instance, RFID). The owners will be forced to go through proper channels and hand over old cows to gaushalas. It will also act as a deterrent to those who sell cows to butchers. The implementation of cow slaughter laws will become easier. The life for cow smugglers will become difficult because they cannot lie that they bought the cows from the owner as such information would be readily available on the cow’s tag.
For example, to check the menace of stray cattle, the Haryana government has already started the process of tagging around three lakh cattle in all cowsheds of the state. According to this The India Express report, tagging of around 75 per cent of the cattle is complete and in the second phase, tagging of domestic cattle will be covered.
Currently the proposal for India is to not use an electronic tag or RFID but simply tags made from thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer. It won’t get damaged due to sunlight or cold temperature. Tampering would be impossible once sealed, Inderjeet Singh, director at the Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes in Hisar, told Mint. He says that this form of identification is currently the most effective one.
“Tags are placed in both ears of the animal and a unique number is given to each based on its bodily features. It usually costs Rs 10-25 per tag and is very accurate,” Singh told the financial daily.
Tags are already used by the National Dairy Development Board for cattle farms and for insuring animals. So providing a universal tagging system is only logical.
Such tags greatly help owners in better management of their livestock. Every new relevant information about the cattle, be it health related or ownership, can be added constantly. Such information comes in handy at the time of selling it to someone else and to fetch better prices. Dr Mugachia says, because of the fact that history of cattle is recorded and retrievable, “at any one point, the animal and its products can be traced back to the origin for enhanced cattle breeding, disease control, trade and food safety”.
How so? Dr Mugachia gives an example of how the US tackled the deadly disease, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which originated at a slaughterhouse in Washington State on 23 December, 2003. Thanks to an efficient system in place, the Americans were able to identify where the cattle, which transported the disease, came from and destroyed all the cattle that had come into contact with it along with all the products that were manufactured from their produce. All this was done in four days and a major disaster was averted.
Proper identification and tracking system for cattle is a major issue in trade too. Many countries mandate that the countries they import beef from have such system in place. For example, as this article tells us, “China requires that each animal has a unique identity, so that the farm of origin (place of birth) can be traced and it can be ensured the cattle is slaughtered when they are less than 30 months of age." According to a report, Australia, Brazil, Uruguay, and New Zealand have mandatory traceability systems for their cattle and 87 per cent of China’s 2016 beef imports were from these countries. Having an identification and traceability system in place is not just a good practice but can also help us in increasing trade with countries like China. India is one of the largest exporters of beef, majority of which comes from buffaloes.
Another product that is coming into market is the GPS cow bell. These help owners track cattle on a real time basis. They also emit light and ring an alarm when a predator approaches.
Identification helps in better management of livestock, theft deterrence and convenience at the time of selling. Traceability system helps in quick containment of any deadly disease that may arise. It also provides assurance and more transparency to consumers of cattle meat.
Luddites may scoff at the idea of giving so much importance to cattle, but for the owners in the countryside, they are no less valuable to them as cars are to our urban citizens.