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, June 22, 2018

13704 - Despite Pending SC Verdict, Ayushman Bharat Insurance Using Aadhaar as Identifier - The Wire


The new healthcare scheme says people who don't have an Aadhaar card will only be treated once, without it.

Aadhaar has been built in so closely, that even its enrollment is going to happen as a byproduct/simultaneous process, of the health scheme itself. Credit: PTI


18/JUN/2018

New Delhi: Although the Supreme Court order on the legitimacy of the government’s drive to make Aadhaar mandatory for entitlements is pending, the entire architecture of the new National Health Protection Scheme has been built around it.

At the press conference in February, which was held to announce the roll-out of this programme, The Wire had asked officials if Aadhaar card would be mandatory to avail the scheme’s benefits. They had said Aadhaar would be used for identifying beneficiaries, but beneficiaries would not be denied insurance coverage for the lack of it.
However, the actual tender documents show the scheme has built in a mechanism to deny people healthcare if they do not have, refuse or cannot obtain an Aadhaar number. For those who do have the number, the scheme is likely to deny benefits if their biometric credentials do not work. The scheme documents do not say if any alternative mechanisms are allowed, to ensure that people are not denied their rights and entitlements.
All patients who come to avail the scheme will be advised to obtain an Aadhaar number in a fixed time frame. Patients will be allowed to take treatment without Aadhaar only once, according to the documents.
Early in the tender document it says: “The benefits under the AB-NHPM Risk Cover shall only be available to an AB-NHPM Beneficiary through an EHCP after Aadhaar based identification as far as possible.” It also says, “If Aadhaar card/number is not available then beneficiary will be advised to get the Aadhaar card/number within stipulated time.”
It offers the following caveat: “In case Aadhaar is not available then other defined Government recognised ID will be used for this purpose.”
On denial of benefits, it says: “No person shall be denied the benefit in the absence of Aadhaar Card through use of alternate Government ID.”
Although the documents seem contradictory on Aadhaar, the bottom line remains that the scheme is designed to run primarily on Aadhaar, and all other identifications are only secondary. Aadhaar has been built in so closely, that even its enrolment is going to happen as a byproduct/simultaneous process, of the health scheme itself.
Automatic catchment into the Aadhaar-net
If a beneficiary reaches a hospital without an Aadhaar number, then “a signed declaration is taken from the Beneficiary that he does not possess an Aadhaar card and understands he will need to produce an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment slip prior to the next treatment.” The patient will also be told that “he is eligible and can get treatment only once without an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment slip.” They will then be given “a list of the closest Aadhaar enrolment centres” where they will be directed to do their enrollment and then return, in order to avail of the health service.
Hospitals which are on board to provide healthcare under NHPS will have an ‘Ayushman Mitra’ or an operator, who will liaise with beneficiaries and the hospital. They will run the helpdesk for the scheme, check documents and advise people on eligibility and enrollment to the scheme.
The Ayushman Mitra has been tasked with informing people, “If Aadhaar card/number is not available then beneficiary will be advised to get the Aadhaar card/number within stipulated time.”
For example, in order to identify a beneficiary, the tender documents say, “If the beneficiary’s name is found in the AB-NHPS list, Aadhaar is collected against the name/family.” It does say in brackets, that alternative government IDs can be used, but Aadhaar remains primary. The cross-referencing of these documents with the beneficiary’s details will throw up a “confidence score.” The insurance company will assess this score and will approve if the patient should be admitted.
The check list for what beneficiaries should bring for identification, says Aadhaar first up. Subsequently, it says that states can recommend other government IDs or ration card. All information, education and communication activities should also be designed to work towards this, “to ensure it is easy for the beneficiaries to receive care.”
If a new family member wants to be added to the scheme, then at least one of the existing family members will need to be verified, and this can be done only by Aadhaar.
For identifying beneficiary families, it directs states to, “Link all AB-NHPM beneficiaries with the State’s Scheme ID and Aadhaar in a defined time period.” This is essential for states which want to cover more people under AB-NHPS than what is given in the AB-NHPS list of beneficiaries.
However, in case of emergencies and if the person claiming benefit is also unable to provide the NHPS e-card or their Aadhaar number, the scheme says they will take other photo identifications by the government of India. If the procedure is not followed, then, the “beneficiary will pay for the treatment to the hospital.”
Private insurance companies in India have also been involved in the chaos around Aadhaar, demanding the number for reimbursement of claims and for continuation of existing premiums. In August 2017, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) put out a clarification, that Aadhaar details are voluntary, and that customers/patients can refuse to give it.


Excerpt from a 2017 notice by the IRDA saying Aadhaar should be asked for on a voluntary basis