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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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

11290 - Aadhaar-PAN linking: Govt proposes changes to ease process but renders it futile; here's why - First Post


BusinessS MurlidharanApr, 10 2017 08:11:29

The Income Tax department, short of annulling the recently introduced mandatory Aadhaar-PAN linkage, has climbed down its high horse so much so that one wonders whether the linkage was worth it at all in the first place.  The department has done two things for two sets of common problems encountered by the harried taxpayers:

Those who have just initials in Aadhaar while having the full expanded name in the other document, i.e. PAN, can overcome the mismatch by logging into the Aadhaar website --(uidai.gov.in<http://uidai.gov.in/) -- and giving the fuller name as appearing in PAN.  The program will understand and note in the name column the expanded name as well.  But the Aadhaar website is quite fastidious: it asks for proof.  The income tax department has got the Aadhaar website to accept the PAN card as proof.  Just scan the PAN and upload it into the Aadhaar website while seeking change of name, exhorts the income tax department.

Those who have divergent names transcending just the initials versus full name dichotomy don’t have to worry either says the income tax department.  For example, Kavita Nagpal may be the name on the Aadhaar card post marriage of a woman.  But she might have been Kavita Sharma before marriage when she started paying taxes.  Don’t worry says the department.  While validating your tax return, an OTP would be generated and sent in such cases to the Aadhaar-registered mobile number where the two names can be mentioned.  Once again the software -- this time round the income-tax department’s -- would nod sagely and accept the dichotomy philosophically.  Unlike in the first case, where a scanned copy of PAN is to be uploaded into the Aadhaar website, here the caveat is the date of birth in the two documents should match. Period.  If they match, the return would stand validated despite the discrepancy in the name in the two seeded documents.

Now let us face the practical difficulties first.  Not everyone has an Aadhaar-registered cell number for the simple reason that when Aadhaar made its mark, cell numbers were neither asked for nor given.  There was simply no field for it in the software at that time.  Of course, the void has been subsequently filled by the UIDAI but its software does not accept any changes without the change being done on the basis of OTP (one time password) sent to one’s Aadhaar-registered mobile number.  A chicken and egg conundrum indeed.  So what to do? Hotfoot to the nearest Aadhaar office or agent and sit or stand patiently just to add the cell number.  Once the cell number is registered, the PAN bearing the fuller name can be uploaded.

The problem does not end here.  It is not as if the PAN card always bears the full name.  In my own case, the PAN just shows my initial whereas the full name lies buried in the system.  Now in such cases the Aadhaar website would reject the uploaded scanned PAN.  The better course would have been to allow Aadhaar access to the income tax department website so that verification could have been completed at the levels of two giant software not dragging the taxpayer into the melee.

Now the conceptual problem. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley gave the rationale of eliminating bogus returns for insisting on seeding PAN with Aadhaar given the fact that Aadhaar has biometric features that stumps imposters and charlatans.  Fine.  But wouldn’t the dilution of strict matching of names to that extent encourage charlatans especially given the fact that Aadhaar originally contained only the year of birth without specifying the date of birth?

The government ought to have addressed the problem of fictitious returns to split the income among numerous persons to get away with lower taxes in a different manner than seeding PAN with Aadhaar -- dispensing with PAN and relying just on Aadhaar.  Statistics support the need for this course of action.  Aadhaar has been issued to 111 crore people but PAN only to 25 crore people out of whom there are just six crore taxpaying persons.  Around 1.08 crore persons have successfully linked their PAN with Aadhaar.  This points to the scale of the problem as well as the course of action to be taken.  Gun after tax evaders on the basis of their Aadhaar identity.  Jaitley has already said soon Aadhaar would be only identity document and PAN would be rendered redundant.

Skeptics rightly aver that Aadhaar is not by any means a reliable document given the fact that most of the fields in it are filled in on the basis of self-declaration, whereas PAN at least is more robustly supported by documents.  This is, however, another story for another time.


Published Date: Apr 10, 2017 07:36 am | Updated Date: Apr 10, 2017 08:11 am