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.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

11717 - Food security: Aadhaar eliminating corruption a myth - Governance Now

There is a need to create a coordinating mechanism among various departments involved in the implementation of NFSA in a state


Pradeep Baisakh | August 3, 2017 | New Delhi

(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)

In April this year, activists dealing with food security wanted to know from people in Katar village in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district whether the information uploaded on a website where PDS has been linked to Aadhaar was correct.
As the online information was displayed in a big screen in the village, people were surprised to see their actual entitlements. 

One villager said, “Hey this is my name, but I am not getting my monthly ration that is mentioned here. The dealer is giving me ration in alternative months. How is it possible? My entitlement is linked to Aadhaar!” Other villagers also reacted similarly. 

Further enquiry revealed that the dealer was manipulating the system. Though he gives the wheat in alternative month, kerosene is given on a monthly basis to the ration cardholders. While taking the fingerprint for kerosene every month in the POS (Point of Sale) machine, he also takes the same for the wheat without the knowledge of the card holder! 

He may take the fingerprint in the machine as many times as he wants just by saying that the impression could not be read. When the embezzlement was exposed, the villagers demanded their quota of wheat back, forcing two dealers to distribute seven truck-loads of wheat to the people.

The lesson: the system with Aadhaar in place is manipulable. 

The dealers were not giving any receipt against the distributed entitlements. They also did not mention the amount in the ration card and sign it. And people believed that Aadhaar prevents their entitlement from being siphoned off.

In a workshop organized by the Right to Food campaign in Delhi in July last week, social workers from various states discussed the performance of the scheme on the ground. A major concern was of course the mandatory use of Aadhaar in many states. There are instances where an old person having Aadhaar is not getting his quota of rice and wheat, as his fingerprints just do not match. 

“Under the Aadhaar system, the old, the migrants and the children are more likely to be excluded andall of them belong to the most vulnerable groups,” says Shankar Singh of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), Rajasthan.

Aadhaar is not much of an issue in Bihar or in West Bengal. But the Bihar government is roping in private companies to do the social audit, which will defeat the very purpose of audit. Ideally the villagers themselves should do the social audits, shared a social worker from Bihar. 
The labourers of the tea gardens in West Bengal, where malnutrition is high, are receiving bad quality flour in place of wheat. In Uttar Pradesh, all the PDS cards had photograph of former chief minister on it. Now the photo of the new chief minister Yogi Adityanath is there. It has not affected people getting their entitlements.

In a series of visits made by the volunteers of right to food campaign to the ration shops in Delhi, it was found that nearly 60 percent shops are closed and information on the display board about the beneficiary details was not updated.

In Jharkhand, in some cases the fingerprint is taken for both sugar and wheat, but only wheat is given. In Gujarat, there is visible lack of awareness among the members of the village level vigilance committee about their role. Aadhaar is mandatory in Gujarat.

A set of recommendations was given by the campaign. There is an issue with the internal grievance redressal mechanism, which needs to be sorted out. In most cases, the comprehensive rule under NFSA has not been formulated. There is need of creating a coordinating mechanism among various departments involved in the implementation of NFSA in a state.