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, June 16, 2017

11529 - Narendra Modi government offers cash to states to get rid of kerosene subsidy - Financial Express



With DBT-kerosene a non-starter, Centre’s focus on cash sops to states voluntarily cutting PDS kerosene quotas

By: Saurabh Kumar | New Delhi | Published: June 7, 2017 8:04 AM

Every state decides on the amount of subsidised kerosene it needs and and accordingly seeks allocation from the Centre.

Given the lukewarm response to the pilot projects for direct benefit transfer of kerosene subsidy (DBTK), the Centre has decided to go slow on the plan and instead focus on giving cash incentives to the states that voluntarily agree to cut their PDS kerosene quotas. Official sources said that three states — Karnataka, Telangana and Haryana — have already settled for lower PDS kerosene allocations and received cash incentives from the Centre. Several others, including Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Nagaland, have cut down on their PDS kerosene demand.
Every state decides on the amount of subsidised kerosene it needs and and accordingly seeks allocation from the Centre. “The infrastructure required to capture biometrics for identification of beneficiaries and collect bank account data is a big task. States were reluctant to implement the DBT scheme for kerosene subsidy. Now even the ministry of petroleum and natural gas also realises that DBTK requires too much effort,” said a government official, who did not want to be named.  What has enabled the states to seek less kerosene is a drastic decrease in the demand for the fuel from the below-poverty-line ration card holders thanks to the LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) launched in May last year. About 75% of the country’s households had LPG connections by the end of 2016-17 against 56% at the start of 2014-15; allocation of PDS kerosene fell by a fifth to 6.93 million kilolitres in 2016-17 from the previous year. While the LPG subsidy bill came down from Rs 36,580 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 19,802 crore in 2016-17 and the budgeted Rs 16,076 crore in 2017-18, kerosene subsidy bills have remained roughly at the same levels in recent years (see chart).
Also watch:

The DBTK pilot, being implemented in 11 districts in Jharkhand, wherein customers buy kerosene at the unsubsidised rate and the subsidy amount is transferred to beneficiaries’ bank accounts. The state provides 3 litres of kerosene to eligible ration card holder per month. However, given that the subsidy amount is around Rs 9 per litre, the total amount to be transferred per household is just Rs 27 per month. It is being realised that the DBTK might not be an economical proposition given the infrastructure and administrative costs.
On January 1, 2016, the central government in a release had said eight states — Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan — had come forward to implement DBTK across their various districts. However, only Jharkhand has implemented the system. The government earmarked Rs 50 crore for DBTK in 2016-17, after making a token provision of Rs 1 crore the previous year. However, sources said, more states need to come forward to take voluntary cuts in kerosene allocations. It is a politically sensitive issue and hence many states are still wary. The cash incentives for taking voluntary cuts in allocations is calculated taking 90% of the 2015-16 allocation as the baseline.
According to the official cited above, concerns remain as many states, despite having a high number of households with access to electricity and cooking gas, continue to seek high kerosene allocations. However, states such as Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab have already removed PMUY beneficiaries from the list of kerosene subsidy beneficia