#India – Plea in Kerala HC against #Aadhaar enrolment #UID


 

By Express News Service – KOCHI 19th June 2013 1

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A petition has been filed before the High Court challenging the decision of the government to insist upon the public for Aadhaar registration as a prerequisite to avail of the benefits of government schemes.

 

 

The petition was filed by Asees Kakkadan, general secretary of the Kozhikode Jilla Pouravakasha Samrakshana Samithi. According to the petitioner, the National Identification Authority of India Bill-2010 was rejected by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in December 2011. But even then the Centre is going ahead with the project only to aid the private agency involved in the enrolment procedure, the petitioner alleged.The petitioner submitted that the government insists on Aadhaar registration for availing of benefits of schemes like LPG subsidy, welfare pension and education benefits.

 

 

“A citizen cannot be denied the benefits of government projects only for not registering under an authority. And the Aadhaar lacks legislative sanction. At present, various identity cards are being issued like election identity card, ration card, driving licence, pan card etc., which clearly establish the identity of a person. Hence insisting on Aadhaar number is illegal,” the plea said.

 

 

#India – Identity crisis slows Aadhaar rollout #UID #biometrics


 

Ajanta Chakraborty, TNN | Jun 15, 2013, 03.55 AM IST

 

 

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Many residents, after waiting in long queues for biometric identification, have ended up with mistaken identities as their National Resident Identity Card (NRIC) – loosely called the ” Aadhaar” card – display the wrong data.

 

 

Blame it on the new software (Aadhaar version 2.2.1.0) which, while enrolling a resident into the system, would wrongly provide the name of his home district. Documents available with TOI reveal that several residents of Cossipore, Baghbazar, Shyambazar, Hatkhola, Beadon Street, Dum Dum, Ghugudanga, Alambazar, Baranagar, Belgachia, Motijheel, Bediapara and Noapara have been enrolled as living in Bankura. Strangely enough, the identification data displays Kolkata as a sub-district.

 

 

Residents of Bansdroni, who were enrolled as living in the sub-district of Budge Budge-1 and the district of South 24-Parganas, were one of the lucky few to have had the mistake rectified. Others have been given wrong pin-codes, even though most of the other relevant data is correct.

 

 

The mismatch of data has made collating impossible. Consequently, NPR programmes are being stalled in several areas. A ruckus erupted recently at Nurpur at Diamond Harbour, South 24-Parganas, when residents realized that the master data contained wrong inputs, sources said.

 

 

They said pin codes weren’t available at the Srifalberia mouja in the same district, and the enrolment camps had to be folded up. Trouble erupted in areas like Tollygunge and Diamond Harbour because even after verification, the errors could not be corrected as the new software has no provision for rectification. Once the enrolment is done, the census directorate, with help from local civic bodies, uplink the data and the unique identification number is generated and sent to individuals by post in the form of the Resident Identity Card (RIC).

 

 

Progress of biometric enrolment has been tardy in Bengal, which has long kicked off the process of collecting biometric imprints to create the NPR, with only about 22 per cent of the population of the 9.1 crore being covered. The pilot project for Howrah is over, but work in North Dinajpur, Bankura and Purulia is yet to commence.

 

 

Officials in the state census directorate, which is implementing NPR, revealed that the implementation of the “Aadhaar” card is likely to suffer a bigger jolt because of the flawed software. “Since an individual will be provided with his 12-digit unique identification only once in his lifetime, the mistakes should be corrected either in the second round of biometric identification or done centrally through the census directorate which functions directly under the aegis of the Register General of India (RGI),” a census directorate official said.

 

 

N S Nigam, district magistrate, South 24-Parganas, admitted to “some problems” in a few blocks. “The pin codes are different and the names of the district wrongly enrolled,” he said. Sanjay Bansal, DM of North 24-Parganas also said there were “issues related to pin codes”. State officials admit that the progress of NPR was “very slow” indeed.

 

 

P K Majumdar, acting director of census operations, said, “I am not authorized to speak to the media.” Calls to S K Chakraborty, deputy director general, Register General of India (RGI), went unanswered.

 

 

 

 

Use of #Aadhaar card in Voting in Karnataka Assembly Elections #UID


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MOST URGENT

By E-mail including to the media

Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd)                                                                     475, 7th Main Road

                                                                                                                         Vijayanagar 1st Stage

E-mail:<sg9kere@live.com>                                                                          Mysore-570017

Tel:0821-2515187                                                                                            April 19, 2013

To

 

Election Commission of India

Nirvachan Sadan

Ashoka Road

New Delhi-110001

 

Subject: USE OF AADHAAR CARD FOR VOTING IN THE FORTHCOMING MAY 2013 KARNATAKA ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Sirs,

1. According to media reports concerning the forthcoming elections in Karnataka, voters who do not present their Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC) at Polling Booths, may use their Aadhaar card as identification for casting their votes. This is apparently a change in policy at the level of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

2. The ECI are requested to note that the instructions printed on the Aadhaar card read as follows:

# Aadhaar is proof of identity, not of citizenship. # To establish identity, authenticate on-line.

3. These instructions read together, indicate that the Aadhaar card bearer’s identity can only be established when it is authenticated on-line by verification of the biometric parameters of fingerprints and iris scans from UIDAI’s records. Therefore, for this purpose, the ECI would need to arrange for and ensure operation of fingerprint detection and iris scan devices connected on-line to UIDAI’s Central ID Data Repository at every polling booth (with standby power supply), for on-line authentication of identity of voters who do not possess the EPIC.

4. If however the Aadhaar card is proposed to be accepted at the polling booth as identification without on-line authentication, then the ECI may consider accepting other documents like Ration Card, Passport or Motor Vehicle Driving Licence, all of which contain as much information as an Aadhaar card, for a Polling Booth Officer to identify the voter. Notwithstanding, the use of Aadhaar card without on-line authentication of identity at polling booths would be misuse of the Aadhaar system and perversion of the election process, since Aadhaar is not proof of citizenship, as stated on the Aadhaar card itself.

5. The ECI are requested to note that waiver of the necessity for EPIC for voting in the May 2013 Karnataka Assembly elections may result in similar waiver being demanded for other elections in the future, thus effectively making the EPIC itself redundant.

6. In view of the foregoing, the ECI are urgently requested to make public announcement to state whether or not facilities for Aadhaar on-line authentication will be provided at polling booths for the May 2013 Karnataka Assembly elections.

 

Yours faithfully,

Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd)

Copy to:

The Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka <feedbackceokar@gmail.com>

Nirvachana Nilaya, Maharani’s College Circle <ceo.karnataka@gmail.com>

Seshadri Road

Bangalore-560001

 

 

Maharshtra – Aadhaar centres to function only on govt premises #UID


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, TNN | Apr 21, 2013, 02.02 AM IST

 

MUMBAI: The state government has now said that no Unique Identification (UID) card enrolment centres will be allowed on private premises, like housing societies or offices, because there are too few resources to register the huge number of people who remain to be enrolled in the city. Instead, UID – or Aadhaar – card centres will be only allowed in government premises, like schools, offices etc, so that the middle-and lower-middle-class population can be enrolled first.Civic officials said members of the middle and lower-middle classes need the UID card first as they are the beneficiaries of various government schemes for which the card will be mandatory.So far, 68% of the 1.25 crore population of Mumbai has been enrolled, which means approximately 70 to 80 lakh of the population has been covered and 45 to 55 lakh remains to be covered. The official deadline for registering the entire population is December 13.

“Now, with the enrolment drive picking up and resulting into a huge backlog due to the limited number of resources, the state has decided not to allow UID camps on private premises,” said a civic official. The state government had allowed setting up UID enrolment centres on private premises earlier so as to cover as much of the population as possible. At that time, the BMC had allowed camps in housing societies and private offices so that people residing or working there could be enrolled.

A UID card that is linked to a bank account would soon be required to avail of several government schemes, including getting a cooking cylinder subsidy, disbursement of provident fund for government employees and receiving free educational items for civic schools.

Currently, there are 145 BMC centres where enrolment is being conducted in the city. All are on government or semi-government premises. Over the next one month, the BMC is going to increase the number of centres to 470, as new vendors have come forward and the BMC has identified spots where new centres can be set up.

A centre in Kherwadi is being touted as the largest centre in the country, with 25 machines working simultaneously and enrolling 2,000 people a day.

The UID project is the brainchild of technocrat Nandan Nilekani. The card is expected to ensure that citizens get access to all schemes of government and local bodies. The government claims that the card will be important in the years to come as, for any dealing with the government, the card would be required to validate identity.

 

 

 

Kerala makes #Aadhar card mandatory for RTE admissions #UID


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by Dolashree Mysoor Posted on April 14, 2013

 

The Kerala government has made

 
Aadhar cards for RTE admissions mandatory, participation in events and
application for scholarship under the Kerala RTE Rules (read more).
The government has decided to distribute benefits to children from
disadvantaged groups on the basis of a unique identification number.
The Kerala State Information Technology Mission (KSITM), along with
IT@schools is organizing camps to ensure that ll students obtain Aadhar
cards.
As per the Kerala RTE Rules, it is
mandatory for every local authority to ensure that an Aadhar card is
distributed to every child in order to maintain records. These records
must be maintained transparently and must be made available in the
public domain. Children’s enrollment, attendance, learning assessment,
and transition must be tracked within this system. Schools are also
under an obligation to maintain records of unique identification number
and other biometric information of all children. In fact, such records
also have an impact on the grant of recognition to schools.
It is worth asking the question – will
admission be denied to children from disadvantaged backgrounds for the
want of a unique identification number? When the state has a duty to
ensure completion of elementary education of every child, can the state
deny admissions to children who do not possess an Aadhar card?  It is
also noteworthy that the rules do not mention the Aadhar Card as a
document for securing admission to schools. In case a child does not
have a birth certificate, the Rules allow the local authorities to
consider Hospital/Anganwadi/Mid-Wife/ Auxiliary Nurse register records
or an affidavit from the parents.

 

 

#India Aadhaar card: Many worried about #privacy #UID


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, TNN | Apr 15, 2013, 03.53 AM IST

 

MUMBAI: Unmindful of the chief minister himself telling the legislature that it is the Centre’s directive that unless a district has 80% registration, providing subsidies through Aadhaar cannot be undertaken, citizens are being coerced into getting a UID number.

“When we informed the school principal that Parliament is yet to pass the Bill, she categorically told us that there was no harm in obtaining the card. The deadline is July-end,” said Maya Nair (name changed). Nair’s child studies in an ICSE school in the suburbs. J S Saharia, additional chief secretary in charge of school education, said while no child will be denied admission for not having an Aadhaar card, the department has informed all government and aided schools that teacher’s salaries will not be paid if every child does not have an Aadhaar card by May-end. “Since we are providing funds we want to know exactly how many children are there in school,” he said.

Sources in the oil marketing companies said they are being compelled by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to fast-track the implementation of Aadhaar. “We have sought clarification from the ministry as we have received objections from consumers,” said sources.

Several Mumbaikars are miffed with the government forcing them to get an Aadhaar card. “I have serious objections to the Aadhaar card as I believe it will infringe on my privacy, providing access to every piece of information about me. Since I do not want government subsidies why should I be coerced into getting an Aadhaar card? It is akin to creating a police state,” said Snehal Shah, a stock investor.

Janhit Manch, which has complained to the Centre on the forceful implementation of Aadhaar, said the Unique Identification Authority of IndiaUIDAI), with its vast implications, is not controlled by any legislation. “There is no statute to control how this information can be used or by whom and under what conditions. There is no law, and no parliamentary or judicial supervision. What is the remedy to a citizen who finds his info has been misused? The scheme, though said to be ‘voluntary’, is becoming compulsory due to such directives,” said Utsal Karani, secretary, Janhit Manch.

Times View: Stop this harassment

It’s unfortunate-and perhaps also inevitable-that a government scheme aimed at giving recognition to the citizen and streamlining administration has ended up in adding to the citizen’s harassment. The government should crack the whip on recalcitrant service providers, who have made having this card a prerequisite despite knowing that only an insignificant percentage of the population has got this card. It should also stop giving confusing and self-contradictory directives before ensuring every citizen has got an Aadhaar card.

 

 

 

#India – The lives of documents: on the sorrows of #AADHAAR #UID


APRIL 13, 2013
 Kaafila.org

This is a guest post by Rijul Kochhar

Combining field and event, camp is in effect spatial practice.[…] Camps are spaces where states of emergency or legal exception have become the rule. [They offer] the setting for the normative permanence of a suspended rule of law.

~Charlie Hailey, Camps: A Guide to 21st Century Space

 

Delhi govt advert compulsory aadhar

The story of Aadhar is not unknown—a new, cutting edge piece of documentary practice jack-booted for this 21st century, it seeks to cull out fraudulent persons tied to dubious places or circumstances (words like ‘ghosts’, ‘fakes’, ‘frauds’, ‘duplicates’ abound in its context). Paeans to the powers of biometrics have been sung from numerous citadels of power—the project’s uniqueness lies in its capacity to channel biological anatomy to a singular fantasy of individually-determined (and fixed) citizenship; its ability to weed out duplication and duplicity in favour of fool-proof individuality; its promise to identify seamlessly; its realization of that ultimate bureaucratic fantasy that seeks to eliminate the noisiness of personhood and the messiness of individual lives by inaugurating a system of identity constructed and at once accomplished through a 12-digit number tied to the bedrock of fingerprints and iris-scans. These seductive powers of identity and technology, long wished for by visions and bureaucratic pursuits of rationality, contrast against fears of the invasion of privacy, the dangers of centralising data, and the abuse of powers and of information by functionaries of government, as well as—by no means less important—prospects of technological malfunction in the field of civic services oranatomical recalcitrance.

 

Against seduction and fear, however, what indeed is the experience of Aadhar—of waiting, of seeking, of enrolment? Observations from a recent ‘camp’ in Delhi for enrolment animate this piece. These observations seek to work against the grain of the triumphalism associated with this massive project; instead, these observations seek to expose the quotidian frustrations as well as exclusionary dramas that unfold in the texture of the everydayness of documentary practice. These are dramas that are hidden from the eyes of technocrats and planners, but they, at once, also speak about the desire for recognition and the will to be recognized by an often-capricious governmentality.

For a very long time, I had resolved to keep aspects of my biometric identity away from governmental power. Over the course of many years, I have come to acquire a bouquet of documents that have linked my personhood to political status and claims to citizenship—birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, PAN card, Voter’s ID card, Class X pass certificate, a disability certificate. These elucidated my age, place of residence, age, sex, disability, appearance, biological markers like birthmarks, etc. and sought to galvanize an identity tied to a place, with both emanating from an entity that was merely considered, a priori, as biological. Placeness and personhood, then, have been the effects of documents; they testify to the immense power of paper and procedure.

That power, in recent months, has come to acquire further potency, as one agency of government after another—at various levels of government—becomes attached to a technocratic vision of politics. In other words, Aadhar reveals to us the larger story of how technocratic dictum works itself through coercion. For a very long time, Aadhar remained voluntary, even though there were conflicting voices to the contrary, ominously pointing to a very probable future of mandatory furnishing of personal biological data. The ethics of this form of coercive and obfuscatory public practice—where enrolment to Aadhar is deemed voluntary by its parent agency (on the UIDAI website, as well as on the enrolment form) on the one hand, but on the other hand, production of the Aadhar number is then held to be discretionary upon other agencies of government, many of which often do not work in sync with each other, some of which are absolutely vital to survival (example, the local ration shop, or the university scholarship/fellowship cell, or the local branch of one’s favourite bank, or the hospital and dispensary. In other places, marriage and owning of property are now compulsorily linked to Aadhar, perhaps harking to a terribly freudian slip!

This bureaucratic deception is one part of the story which must compel us to confront the logics of the biometric project; the ruse of governmentality to seek and compel the furnishing of one’s entire biological and anatomical constitution is another part of the story, a part that does not often cause us to think through the consequences of the absolute centralization of such massive and crucial data, as well as the increasing, creeping biologization of politics, rights and citizenship. Be that as it may, it is the hidden spectres within the seeming banality of paper and procedure, vis-à-vis Aadhar, that I want to concentrate upon here—the form-filling, the actual practice of enrolment, the requirements of ‘proofs’, the burden of being coerced into an avowedly rights-based scheme of governmentality that threatens exclusion not only when confronted by transgression (in not producing adequate data), but also activates that exclusion by tying up vital needs of life and living to documentary practices of paper and procedure that are, themselves, capricious and arbitrarily accomplished.

As various governmental agencies and functionaries, Parliament andvarious courts struggle over determining the legality and the contemporary status of Aadhar, I find myself browbeaten into standing in line for enrolling myself. Browbeaten because I have started to come across reports and discussions—in the media, in my social circle, indeed in places of work and leisure, in governmental advertisements that are more in the character of warnings[10]—that alert me to the wider perils of remaining obdurate to the seductions of UIDAI: withdrawal of fellowships, refusal of banks to honour requests, problems in hospitals, troubles with taxation, added problems in getting any governmental work done, refusal of pensions and refugee-assistance, the inability to get married. These perils, mundane as their visage might be, are nevertheless no less catastrophic to everyday life. They serve to illustrate how documents, papers and bureaucratic procedures become weapons of exclusion and selection—a detail of importance that observations from the field brought home to me, but which are glossed-over in the triumphalist rhetoric of technocratic eureka-moments.

Thanks to the vast corpus of documents that I have acquired, Aadhar enrolment was cakewalk for me. Fill the form, wait in line, struggle with fingerprints (praying that the machine would ‘read’ my troublesome digits—troublesome because the skin on my fingers is too ‘dry’ and my fingers, themselves, are crippled by a disability), have my ocular irises scanned, sign the receipt, and await one’s unique identity in the mail. Fundamentally, however, the promise of Aadhar—to provide a unique piece of identity, technologically facilitated, to all citizens—remains a false, vacuous and cruel lie. For what makes Aadhar possible for somebody is, contrary to what the enrolment form itself states, the production of past and existing documentation. This is what situates Aadhar in the same zone of exclusion and selection as other documents and paper-practices of bureaucracies; it makes it difficult for those without documentation to claim citizenship, even though Aadhar claims to extend the rights and duties associated with a modern regime of citizenship to all. The added fantasy of our contemporary politics—to tie technology to a coercive regime that insists, increasingly, on the furnishing of only one particular document—the Aadhar 12 digit number-bearing card—at the risk of being denied basic services in case of contravention of that regime in one’s everyday life—takes the UID project further down the extreme path of coercion, exclusion and, yes, harassment.

An anecdote will suffice. I accompanied an acquaintance to an Aadhar ‘camp’ (somewhere in central India). This person, who I will call ‘A’, had no documentary paper of identity or proof of citizenship. Now, the Aadhar enrolment form, which I had cared to study carefully in advance, provides three different options for ‘verification’: (1) document based, which accepts specific documents like passport, ration card and the class X pass-certificate as forms of proof for address, age, identity and residence (even though, in the way what is deemed acceptable proof is often discriminatory or patently elitist—how many people, after all, have the luxury of possessing a passport or a class X pass certificate?)

AADHAR_FORM

(2) introducer based, which allows those who “do not possess any documentary proof of identity and/or address” to enrol by being ‘introduced’; 3) head of family based. I, obviously, availed of the first option—both on the enrolment form, as well as during my conversation with the enrolling executive—given that I possessed other documents for verification. But what of those who do not have that luxury, people like A? For as is clear and remains a public secret of no great surprise, the possession of documents for most is not routine or a right; it is a privilege that is acquired by ingenious practices of subversion and collusion—what happens to them?

Obviously, Aadhar makes provisions for those without existing forms of documentation to avail of a new identity document. It recognizes the reality of those people—vast numbers of them—who possess not a shred of documentary ‘evidence’ to prove their claims to citizenship and to rights in 21st century India. But realities from the field of the camp diverge here: many people have carefully preserved pieces of paper to offer, but these documents—often in the local language—are from some place else, often from those parts of the country that are not well articulated in the public or governmental imaginary and are places which are often forgotten or ignored (unlike, say, a document from New Delhi, that often has its own miraculous powers of legitimacy and will get its holder access to services much more easily). From such places, which are actually kinds of ‘non-places’, persons as well as documents are also tainted—they are not ‘acceptable’ to the enrolling arms of modern identity-production and governmental projects such as Aadhar. The language of such documents is often a barrier, especially for migrants seeking Aadhar enrolment in a place different from the place where such older documents have been issued. Even so, UIDAI makes, at least on paper, the provision of the introducer-based verification for Aadhar enrolment. How does this work? The website of UIDAI states that the ‘introducer’ will be an agent of the registrar, ‘predesignated’ and having ‘influence’, called forth to verify the antecedents of the paperless applicant. This, however, is easier said than done in practice because individuals predesignated are hard to find, are rarely present at the necessary times, and will often not oblige except for special considerations. It is a fact that forms part of the larger tale of honourable intentions floundering on the rock of social reality. It is a reality that one sees in the field site of the camp. Against pervasive reticence, then, resides the expression to claim inclusion within this scheme, a phenomenon I witnessed, but rarely, in those who declaimed their vociferous will to be included. This will to Aadhar, however, is animated as much with the proffered possibilities of acquiring a paper of one’s own in a world of documents, as much as it is tempered with the fear of exclusion from vital entitlements in the near future.

Paper and procedure come to acquire their nefarious potency in practice, where discretion and other considerations trump the platitudes of policy and the fine print. At the Aadhar enrolment camp, our friend ‘A’, without his own set of documents and proofs, emerged in practice as a non-entity from a non-place, unworthy of trust or the legitimacy offered by Aadhar enrolment—a project that our friend was desperate to be a part of.[i] The enrolling personnel at the camp insisted that, no matter what their own form stated, they had ‘orders from above’ that sought to exclude those without valid and acceptable proofs of identity, age and residence from the enrolment drive. There was to be no introducer-based enrolment for A.[ii] When the machinery of government, at various levels, slowly but surely inches towards requiring Aadhar in its modes of operation, does this system of wanton inclusion and arbitrary exclusion not open the gates of abjection as well as a denial of very rudimentary entitlements? If the mission of this gargantuan undertaking has been to enable and provide those without valid documents of identity with one such document—and Aadhar, by stating the different types of verification on the enrolment form, seems aware of this responsibility—then what justifies the violence wrought by the coercive imagination that is compulsorily demanding Aadhar information for basic services while at the same time refusing enrolment for those without pre-existing documentation for their claims to citizenship? In other words, those left out of the corrupt and frustrating loop of documentation and the practices of paper and procedure continue to be subjected to the same. How unique, then, is Aadhar or its parent agency, the UIDAI?

While A’s experiences and mine are a study in contrast, these experiences reveal the power of paper and procedure in our lives. A’s inability to read did not help matters at the camp; my argument with the enrolling person and our insistence on UIDAI’s own provisions of introduction, verification and enrolment—stated in the form—cut little ice when the ‘higher-ups’ and their orders were invoked by the other side. How is one to manoeuvre, then, when confronted with the impossible situation where the reality of the de facto compulsoriness of Aadhar (given its increasing ubiquity for public life and for one’s daily business) combines with the existing reality of lives lived without documents, and the equal reality offered by my observations at the site of the camp where official provisions of inclusion and empowerment are jettisoned for hopeless and default bureaucratic techniques of denial? The infusion of Aadhar into the public body, in many ways, has eroded the erstwhile room to manoeuvre that offered the chance of utilizing the capacity of mobilizing other documents and other modes of procuring them; instead, the arbitrary denial of enrolment into Aadhar, and its increasing ubiquity in everyday life as a singular (and also, increasingly, the sole) form of identity, threatens to disrupt many of us in our everyday lives: those of us who either do not subscribe to the scheme’s biometric infatuations, or who do not measure up to its requirements—both official and discretionary—of enrolment.

Aadhar began by being predicated upon the promise of providing documentary identity to those without one. By insisting on previous forms of identity documents for enrolment—in spite of its own stated provisions that allow ‘introducer-based’ systems of verification for those without identity documents from their pasts—Aadhar and its executives have transformed the program from a putative agent of empowerment to another trap of denial and an inducer of desperation. As more agencies of government and facets of the everyday come to be ‘linked’ to this program, the dramas of enrolment, inclusion and exclusionary denial will continue to be enacted. It is thisdrama—now increasingly a festering wound of citizenship which remains hidden from the triumphalist discourse of technocratic governance—that is enacted and reenacted by the pervasive and increasingly-ubiquitous insistence on Aadhar in the public sphere, especially this ongoing insistence on an exclusionary Aadhar that offers no remedy to the undocumented insofar as it forgets or dilutes its own ordinary provisions of introduction and inclusive enrolment.

An insistence on Aadhar in its present avatar of practice, especially in public life and in the everydayness of citizenship, is an example where the grand sovereignty of governmental power is enunciated and showcased through the very arbitrariness of that sovereignty’s enactments in everyday life. This sovereign power is especially visible in the field: it is, after all, the camp that shows us the capriciousness of this sovereignty’s agents—among whom, Aadhar, is increasingly hegemonic within what William James once called the “tissue of experience”. The camp suggests how this capriciousness is activated and realized via those agents’ practices of hidden and obvious power relations: through the seemingly-quotidian violence of their paper and procedures, via summary rejections and arbitrary inclusions, by the increasing ubiquity of Aadhar in everyday life and discrimination in governmental practice (aspects of which elide policy wonks but come to be frustratingly visible to the observer at the site of the camp) against those who fall through the cracks of its demands and procedures. Aadhar’s is a violence which encodes, at the same time, a fickle force of pleasure/peril of enrolment and rejection, buffeted by cutting-edge technology and sophisticated (bewildering?) gadgetry. Submitting oneself to such technology, it may be pointed out in passing, can be terrifying as much as it can be exhilarating. The seductions of inclusion and the trauma of exclusion are merely two facets, nay footnotes, of that wider pleasure/peril dichotomy which underlies our biometric age.


[i] This desperation is a small aside that reflects the obsession that documents come to acquire in the lives of the less-privileged: documents of identity such as Aadhar, which offer the promise of opening the gates of governmental recalcitrance, are legitimacy-traps for those bearing the stigma—in countless ways—of social illegitimacy; the documents’ powers reside in thepossibilities that they offer, in the access that they enable, often eclipsing the anxieties of privacy protection or technical legality that also form the architecture of the program itself. They function as a form of documentary fetish that come to acquire power in everyday life by inhering the possibilities and seductive offers of accessing basic provisions in a fraught world.

[ii] This was after I brought the introducer-based system of verification and enrolment to the attention of the enrolment executive; prior to my intervention, they seemed blissfully unaware of this provision in the Aadhar program.

Identity crisis on cards as crunch hits #Aadhaar #UID


Vaivasvat Venkat, TNN | Apr 12, 2013, 04.47 AM IST
LUDHIANA: Getting an Aadhar card made has become a problem for many residents in the city as most of them are not even aware of the centres where these Aadhar cards are being made. Absence of requisite staff and the enrolment kits used for making the cards is a major problem plaguing the project.”I have been hearing so much about the Aadhar card and how it is going to be a must in the coming times. However, the biggest problem for me is that I do not know where I should go to get this card made. It’s not only me facing this predicament as many of my friends too are encountering the same problem,” said TP Singh from GurdevNagar.
Advocate Yogesh Dewan, a resident of Model Town, also complained that he has not been able to get his card made as he does not know where it is made. “If at all the government is serious about making these cards, the work should be done in a proper manner. Area-wise centres should be opened at fixed places so that people know where to get the cards made without any hassle.”
When approached on the issue, District Food and Civil Supplies officer Lavkesh Sharma said, “Though we have many problems, work on the cards is being carried out. Wherever there are problems, we will definitely solve them.”

 

#India – The Aadhaar Card – How Safe Is YOUR Data? #UID #privacy


social-media-privacy
Thursday, Apr 11, 2013,
Berges Malu  , DNA , April 11, 2013

Applying for an Aadhar Card is a privacy nightmare.

 

 

 

 

 

The need for me to have an Aadhar card continues to have me flummoxed. But after a lot of cajoling from my parents and friends, I decided to go ahead and apply for a card at an enrollment camp that was set up at the University I study at. What I experienced has left me a wee bit stunned on how and what exactly our government that is well known more for its goof ups than its successes has rolled up their sleeve for Aadhar cardholders and how they plan to keep this entire mammoth machinery running.

 

Thankfully unlike the royal run around I was made to go through for my passport, the process to get my Aadhar card was an absolute breeze.  My companion and I deposited our forms in the morning, got a token number and in the evening we headed over to the enrollment center, stood in a rather short queue and were out with a smile about 15 minutes later. But while the process was a breeze and I had no complaints about the promptness of the entire process, how my data was handle left me questioning the entire identification process.

 

To start with, the agent there, never once took a look at the copies of documents I was submitting as proof of identity. He only checked it, to confirm my father’s name. He never bothered to check if the documents were indeed true copies or just well made out photo-shopped documents, and he never asked to see the originals. He didn’t bother to ask me if I wanted to link my Aadhar card to an existing bank account and thankfully on his own never ticked the part about my information being shared to other authorities.

 

He then went on to dump these loosely stapled bunch of documents into a carton that I have no clue was headed where. Here was a pile of very valuable personal data, that included everything from my date of birth, address, educational qualifications and I had no clue what was to happen of it. One needn’t worry about what the government would do with the data fed into the system, its what could happen to the hard information that was in this carton, almost every bit of our lives was ready for an identity thief to come by and pick up.

 

A recent article in MiDDAY (http://goo.gl/ZL5WG) reported that copies of the compulsory documents that were submitted by residents in a Mumbai colony as proof of identity etc as well as hard copies of the forms, were left behind by the agency that filed the data and no one had picked it up. This after the residents had already received their Aadhar cards.

 

What I also noticed was, of the two agents stationed at the enrollment center, the woman (who managed the enrollment of women) didn’t speak a word of either English or Hindi, she only spoke Telugu, while the enrollment of data is done in English. Now while there is nothing wrong in speaking only the language of your state (and God knows how big a proponent I am of every citizen living in Maharashtra learning Marathi), entering in data of individuals in a language other than your is surely not your best forte, and as was bound to happen, almost every woman who went over was locked in a battle with her trying to get her to correct the umpteen goof ups she made.  Makes me wonder why I shouldn’t be surprised that many Aadhar cards are turning up with images of Trees, dogs and other pets as was reported recently? (http://goo.gl/tCUgG)

 

Which left me wondering, if my data at primary source is being dealt with in such a lackadaisical manner, what would happen once it reaches the government and how careful will they be with all of this?

 

 

Man dies in Aadhaar card queue– so now its kumbh mela ? #UID


PTI : Guntur(AP), Wed Apr 10 2013, 16:24 hrs
Adhar cardThe incident took place in the Zilla Parishad school premises of Dachepalli village. (Agencies)

A 60-year-old man waiting in queue for obtaining his ‘Aadhaar‘ card here suddenly collapsed and died today, police said.

The incident took place in the Zilla Parishad school premises of Dachepalli village here, they said. The deceased identified as G Naresenga was a heart patient and might have died of exhaustion, police said.

However, the actual cause of death will be clear only after the post-mortem, they said.