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 16, 2017

11408 - Aadhaar is completely secure; UIDAI chairman J Satyanarayana explains why - Financial Express


The question of data breach and security issue doesn’t arise at all in the government’s ambitious unique identity programme, stresses J Satyanarayana, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and advisor (IT), government of Andhra Pradesh.
By: Sudhir Chowdhary | New Delhi | Published: May 15, 2017 3:55 AM

The question of data breach and security issue doesn’t arise at all in the government’s ambitious unique identity programme, stresses J Satyanarayana, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and advisor (IT), government of Andhra Pradesh. Satyanarayana has been associated with the design and implementation of over 20 major e-government projects at the state and national levels; he is best known as the founder of eSeva, a one-stop-shop for citizen services in Andhra Pradesh. A key speaker at the Oracle Open World in New Delhi last week, Satyanarayana tells Sudhir Chowdhary that India’s digital transformation will significantly improve the quality of government services and increase transparency in its style of working. Excerpts:
The Digital India programme was announced in 2014. How is it keeping pace with an extremely dynamic technology world?
Digital India is more of an approach and a philosophy. It was sufficiently generic when it was originally designed. The very purpose of designing Digital India was deliberate so that it can be adaptive to technology. It is reasonably future-proof.
So, as some of these government projects are being put in place, they are designed in a manner to not only embrace the latest technology but also remain relevant for the next two to five years or even more. A case in point is the Aadhaar project conceptualised in 2009-2010; robust, scalable and future-proof largely. The Aadhaar cards and data are expected to last a citizen’s lifecycle. Technology progression and innovations should not be seen as potential threats to legacy applications and should be able to co-exist and adapt to each other.

What is e-Pragati project and what lessons can be drawn from it in the larger context of government of India?
E-Pragati is again a philosophy with the vision of creating ‘One’ government. It follows the approach of adopting enterprise architecture principles not only with the purpose of delivering services but good governance in particular. The sole purpose of ‘One’government is to streamline multiple departments and hundreds of agencies to work in tandem with each other for better governance of the state and the nation.
Translating this into reality is fairly simple and I would draw its analogy with the way and manner in which global multinationals function. A conglomerate can have multiple offices and an array of businesses but it follows similar processes, is bound by same principles and is identified by a common brand and set of brand values. The same blueprint can be applied to governance. E-Pragati is a step towards that at a state level. March 1 this year has been declared as the year of e-Pragati and gradually all government departments are expected to transcend towards convergence.
What is the status on e-Pragati currently?
We are currently in the process of submitting our recommendations for this project. It has been christened ‘IndEA—India Enterprise Architecture’ as the idea is to create resonance and value for this project within the citizens. We have designed different models and will be submitting our technology framework proposal to the government for a national rollout. While e-Pragati in in the process of being rolled out in Andhra Pradesh, it is currently still a concept at the national level and only at the stage of submission to the central government.
Is Aadhaar secure? What potential changes or additions can be done to improve its privacy and security?
It is completely secure. The moot point is that Aadhaar isn’t connected to the internet. Most people believe that your biometrics is taken, put on the internet and is visible and accessible to all. This is technologically not feasible, legally not permissible and organisationally not possible. So I would say it is 300% secure by nature. Data is captured, immediately encrypted and passed on to the data centre, where it is taken to our servers in UIDAI. UIDAI servers are not on the internet. There is a wall separating them from the SAs and infrastructure of UIDAI. It is a physical demarcation. Hence, the question of data breach and security issue doesn’t arise at all.
Coming to the second part of your question, improvement is an ongoing process. We have a professional unit in place managed by PwC to oversee and evaluate various security aspects and threat situations on a 24×7 basis. We have a significantly strong and large security operation centre based in Delhi, overseeing the infrastructure at Bengaluru and the disaster recovery at Manesar. We have deployed about 7,000 servers, accessible at our centre in Delhi round the clock.

Could you throw some light on how technology and Digital India will address employment, skill development, rural and agricultural growth in the country?
Digital India is not about e-governance; it isn’t about electronics, IT, servers or mobility. These are actually various components and definitely contribute towards Digital India and what it seeks to achieve. However, at the end of the day, if you have good governance, it yields results. So, in all these areas like agriculture, healthcare, and employment, the respective domain needs reform and re-engineering.
It is the government that needs to change and the change needs to be fast signifying re-engineered and re-imagined processes and freshly designed innovative services. Technology cannot overhaul things overnight. The lesson is to introspect first and then embrace the right technology and IT.