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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Monday, May 1, 2017

11199 - Why not have Aadhaar ear tags for humans also? - The Hindu


APRIL 29, 2017 19:08 IST

UPDATED: APRIL 29, 2017 20:52 IS


As you can guess, dear reader, the past week or so has been an extraordinary period in the life of your favourite columnist. I am overwhelmed and humbled by the love and affection showered on me by millions of loyal readers like you. I am touched that so many of you took the trouble to send me congratulatory messages – thank you.

To be honest, I did not expect the government to act so promptly on the suggestion I’d made in my previous column that India should introduce 33% reservation for cows in Parliament. I am as thrilled as you are that they’ve taken it seriously, and as a first step in that direction, decided to issue UID numbers to all proud Indians who chose to be reborn as a cow.

My Ola driver, Monu Nigam (not related to the singer who shaved his head), who has top-level connections in the Home Ministry, tells me that the government is working round-the-clock to provide every cow in India — regardless of age, breed, or sexual orientation — an UID number by June 2018 so that all of them can vote in the 2019 elections.

If everything goes according to plan, bovine candidates would be able to contest the elections in 2024, by which time India would have in place the requisite legislation reserving 33% seats for cows in all democratic institutions from the Parliament downward.

Something like Aadhaar
Right now, however, the government is grappling with a tricky issue: what to call the UID for cows? Monu says that for the time being, they are calling it “Aadhaar-like” (instead of Aadhaar) because some right-wing cows took exception to their UID number being referred to by the same name as “the despicable surveillance operation unleashed on humans”.

I confess I’m with the cows on this. There are sound reasons why the cow UID should not be referred to as Aadhaar. First of all, unlike humans, cows are not required to share their hoof prints or get their irises scanned, which I think is a fair move by the government aimed at protecting the dignity and privacy of the cow.

Second, cows don’t need to authenticate their identity with their UID number in order to access their midday meals. This, too, is a fair decision, as it would be both petty and cruel to starve a cow just because it doesn’t have an UID number.

Given these critical differences from the Aadhaar, the UID for cows deserves its own name. My milkman Thodappam Kher (not related to any bald celebrity) says the Home Ministry may end up calling it ‘Cowdhaar’. Not a bad choice, though I would have simply gone with ‘Moo’, which is easier to pronounce for cows. Equal rights for all

Apparently, the Centre has told the Supreme Court that the ‘Cowdhaar’ number would have key biographic details of the cow such as age, breed, sex, lactation, height, colour, horn type, tail switch, and special marks. Also, a tag with the ‘Cowdhaar’ number would be affixed to the ear lobe of the cattle.

Now, I am not saying this because I am a human being or anything, but I strongly believe the government should extend the same privileges to humans also. At present, the only biographical details of humans that are captured in Aadhaar are date of birth, name, sex, and address. It is high time humans also had their breed, lactation, colour, height, tail switch, and special marks recorded in the Aadhaar database. Also, every human with an Aadhaar number must get an ear tag. Are humans in any way inferior to cows that we only get a colourless plastic card while they get a yellow polyurethane tag in the ear of their choice?

The government has cited cattle smuggling as the rationale for the ‘Cowdhaar’ ear tag. But everyone knows that human smuggling, or trafficking as it is popularly known, is a bigger menace. If we put an Aadhaar tag in the ear lobe of every Indian, the government would be able to track the location and mobility of all citizens in real time.

This would make it much easier to catch terrorists, kill Maoists, and trap Vijay Mallya, who, incidentally, self-trafficked himself out of India. Thodappam tells me that the multibillionaire, whose belly closely resembles that of a cow, possesses a unique tail switch that can swat away any investigating flies from India. If only the CBI could part him from his diamond ear stud, we could easily fund Aadhar ear tags for everyone.