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


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


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.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

11188 - 40,000 ‘erroneous’ payments in Aadhaar-linked subsidy disbursal in Karnataka - The Hindu

APRIL 29, 2017 00:10 IST

‘Banks told to re-verify and retrieve these payments if found to be erroneous’

The input subsidy that the State government paid to a farmer, Venkatamma, has been debited to one Vincent Rajkumar’s account. This is one of the nearly 40,000 suspected erroneous payments in the first-ever Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) disbursal of input subsides — given as part of drought relief — to around 18 lakh farmers in the State, this year.
While the State government that opted for AEPS — billed as the best platform for fool-proof direct benefit transfer — has streamlined subsidy payments integrating it with Bhoomi platform, this may also have resulted in payments of input subsidy to wrong beneficiaries, depriving deserving farmers of their rightful subsidies in these 40,000 cases.

“Suspected erroneous transactions may seem small, since they account for just over 2% of the total transactions. But 40,000 is a huge number. We have now written to the banks asking them to re-verify and retrieve these payments if found to be erroneous,” said Rajeev Chawla, Additional Chief Secretary, e-governance, Karnataka. He was speaking at a south zone workshop on ‘Aadhaar Enabled Applications’, here.
The State government developed a software, Parihara, for the purpose and a special tool to reconcile Kannada names on Bhoomi platform and Aadhaar database.
However, this could not prevent the suspected erroneous transactions. “These are due to errors in seeding of Aadhaar data with the bank accounts of the beneficiaries at the banker’s end,” Mr. Chawla said.

M.V.S. Rami Reddy, Deputy Director-General, UIDAI, Hyderabad, said 40,000 suspected erroneous transactions were a cause for concern and the matter would be taken up by the head office. He expressed concern over the gaps at the banker’s end in the AEPS process.

“As per the standard operating procedure, bankers while they seed Aadhaar data with bank accounts have to cross-verify both the databases. Some of them are lax about doing this, leading to errors,” he said, and added that the good thing was that these erroneous transactions could be easily tracked down.
Another area where the bankers are accused of laxity is in updating the Aadhaar-seeded bank account data to the National Payments Corporation of India. “We have asked them to update it once in three days, but in many banks, there is a time lag of over two to three weeks,” Mr. Reddy said.

Despite these suspected erroneous transactions, deploying AEPS for disbursal of input subsidy to farmers has brought about a sea change to the whole process in the State. Earlier, the waiting time for farmers was around 12 to 15 months, which has now come down to a single day, officials said. “There was no accountability in the selection of farmers for input subsidy and also no verification of his/her landholdings. With Bhoomi and Aadhaar being linked, over 10 lakh landholdings have been linked to Aadhaar of the landowners, bringing in accountability,” Mr. Chawla said.