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.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

11553 - No Country For Those Without An Aadhaar? Questions That Still Remain Unanswered - Youth Ki Awaaz


Posted by Gokul Balu in PoliticsSociety
June 14, 2017
Quite frankly, it is nothing short of a confusion. It is difficult to differentiate cause from effect because the outcome seems quite muddled up under half-baked assertions and nuances of social anxieties. The debate on the depth and viability of Aadhaar is ongoing. What remains are questions. Questions that need one definite answer.

No Country For Non-Aadhaar Holders?
Obviously, the title is stolen from a famous Hollywood movie but what better way to address the theme than with this slightly modified title? The honourable Government of India has decided to finally put an ultimatum to the never ending fiasco that is Aadhaar. Launched during the reign of the centrophilic Congress party in the year 2009 and given form and flesh by UIDAI headed by Nandan Nilekani, this was an idea which was being conceived in 2000. The objective was crystal clear, to present an identification proof which will bypass the plethora of identification documents present in our country. This alone will act as a primary identification validating a person as the rightful citizen of the country.

The concept is commendable as this will finally provide one key identification document which will fulfil the role of many. As the Aadhar website lays out, “Aadhaar numbers will eventually serve as the basis for a database with which disadvantaged Indian residents can access services that have been denied to them due to lack of identification documents.”

The process of registration rolled on from the year 2012. I still remember the chaos which followed as everyone was confused regarding the need for this new document. Many refused to wait in long queues to get their biometrics taken and I remember that the E-disha and Akshaya centres in different states in India acted as stations to process this document. We were all issued printed documents containing temporary numbers and were told that we will get the real card by post. Quite frankly, I still know many who still have not their valid official copies despite following up.

The document was declared as a proof of identification for availing public sector benefits. The program seemed like a hit-and-miss at first. Personally, the Aadhaar system proved to be a hindrance many times while availing services. Luckily, after many trials, I received mine, though I never really appreciated the photography skills on the card.

Among common households, Aadhaar became a thing to be considered, yet again, with the onset of availing LPG subsidies. The incoming BJP government stressed the need for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts belonging to the consumer to avail benefits.

A new inflow of data regarding the people of this country (made possible through an extensive census study) helped shift the project’s perception from fraudulent to feasible, after the 2014 elections.

This implementation led to an increase in the flow of subscribers for Aadhaar. Gradually, you could see its presence expanding over many domains; sometimes optional and sometimes mandatory, through subtle methods.

The big flaw in the system which presented itself as the glaring hole of data security really shook up the system’s credibility. Sakshi Dhoni’s complaint, regarding her husband’s private data breach,  highlighted the need amongst citizens to finally ask questions about private data security.

In a turn of events, the new declaration from the government states that every individual who wishes to avail social benefits must be enrolled for Aadhaar before June 30, 2017. The declaration relaxes the norms for people whose enrolment facilities are not in place. It is not a country for the ones who don’t hold an Aadhar card because every ration, service, and subsidy can only be availed once the consumer has an Aadhar in hand. This is the bottom line.

The unique identification scheme has been under scrutiny for everything from its enrolment process to the half-baked privacy norms which are in place – but if it provides ease of service provision as promised, then it is definitely a welcome move. There is the need for an answer. An answer to all these questions and an answer that may not be conclusive, but at least inclusive for all.


Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the p