Aadhaar

The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Friday, May 25, 2018

13579 - The suspicion over Aadhaar shows why IIT engineers don’t have solutions to India’s ills - The Print


RAMA LAKSHMI 21 May, 2018

        Engineering students at IIT Kharagpur | Commons

As more business is transacted on the basis of our online behaviour and ‘intuitive functionality’, a liberal arts degree is the most sought-after skill in the American tech industry today.

In May 2011, Sir John Makinson, former chairman of the Financial Times Group visited India. One of the places he stopped by was the UIDAI office in Delhi, where he met the team that was putting in place India’s ambitious turbo-charged social security biometric identity system.

But what was interesting was the sharp observation he made after an extended discussion with the team.

“I am a bit worried that Aadhaar is piloted by too many engineers and too few liberal arts majors,” he said to a UIDAI member, Praveen Chakravarty, over dinner that night.
Years later, his insight has come back to bite the Aadhaar architecture, beleaguered as it is over issues of coercion, privacy and perception.

Yes, the top founding team at the UIDAI included all engineers who were charged with the mandate of offering technocratic solutions to India’s governance problems. A sociologist in that team would have foreseen some of the problems the system faces today – mainly one of trust deficit and consent.

The artificial distance in the liberal arts-versus-engineering binary is now slowly collapsing around the world.

A recent report said IIT-Kharagpur would now introduce fine arts — music and dance classes — for its engineering students. The central goal appears to be what is popularly called ‘holistic’ development.

Niti Ayog’s Amitabh Kant tweeted Saturday: “Delighted that IITs are redesigning their courses to include credits on arts & humanities including appreciation of creative arts. This would lead all round holistic development of our engineers & boost innovation & research in classical music, art forms & architecture.”



Delighted that IITs are redesigning their courses to include credits on arts & humanities including appreciation of creative arts. This would lead all round holistic development of our engineers & boost innovation & research in classical music, art forms & architecture.

In recent years, IIT-Hyderabad has offered short creative arts courses as well. Of course, all this is a really belated realisation that an exclusive engineering degree may just turn out to be too hollow. For too many decades, we have been fixated on engineering degrees as a marker of social success.
Over the last couple of years, it appeared to deepen in India as assaults on liberal arts colleges rose in public discourse. We have heard people say: “Yeh duniya technology se chalti hai, sociology se nahin (the world runs on technology not sociology)”.

Our lingering fascination with the haloed IIT engineers as the solution for all of India’s ills is baffling — even as a grand shift is already underway in the United States.

As we are engulfed by an era of what the Harvard scholar Shoshana Zuboff calls “surveillance capitalism” — especially after the jaw-dropping revelations about the Cambridge Analytica — Makinson’s words ring more true today.

In the data economy, as more and more businesses and politics are transacted on the basis of our online behaviour and ‘intuitive functionality’, a liberal arts degree is the most sought-after skill in the American tech industry today. As companies rush to hire coders, a new report in January by the Harvard Business Review anticipated that many of their skills — like programming and data crunching — would get replaced and automated in the not-too-distant a future.

“What can’t be replaced in any organisation imaginable in the future is precisely what seems overlooked today: liberal arts skills, such as creativity, empathy, listening, and vision. These skills, not digital or technological ones, will hold the keys to a company’s future success. And yet companies aren’t hiring for them,” said the report. “Soon, companies will rush to hire these skills in the same way that they compete for coders and engineers today.”

Welcome change
As the harvested data gets more and more sophisticated — moving from standard stock information like age, sex, income to unstructured, real-time behaviour, preferences and observations — coding will give way to liberal arts skills like analysis, critical thinking and behavioural anthropology.

To prosper in the digital economy, Indians must be ready to shed their inflexible STEM-only mindset. We can’t lag behind the curve when it comes to foreseeing and preparing for this change.

The news about the IITs embracing creative arts is welcome change. They should also add humanities to it. But the courses shouldn’t just be pegged as ‘soft’ skills, and must be integrated into the engineering curriculum.
There is nothing ‘soft’ about first-rate social science, says Tridip Suhrud, who taught Gandhian studies at a design and engineering college some years ago. “There was a mental block from those who thought that such a course may not have any applications,” he said. “One had to show that humanities and social science were not a mode of doing but a mode of thinking about self and the world.”

Doing and thinking are conjoined twins in the internet economy, as user experiences and digital anthropology are the centre-pieces of how we shape the new era.